camera settings

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Even though it was Christmas Eve, I still wanted to go out and capture the sunrise. On this particular morning the sunrise was beautiful but very fleeting. The colors in the sky only lasted for a couple of minutes and then went away. So I figured I would walk around more and see what else I could find. Luckily, my family didn’t have plans of getting together until lunch so I had time to wonder.

I’ve mentioned this before on the blog, but I am constantly moving and walking while I am out taking pictures. I honestly feel like there is nothing worse then going home with a memory card full of the same images. I can understand if you’re standing in the same spot and sky is changing or something like that but I really like to capture a scene and then keep it moving to find a different or even a better composition. So while I was wondering around, I found these cherry blossom branches that perfectly framed the Jefferson Memorial. I mean seriously, could it be any more perfect? *In my Chandler Bing voice*

My favorite part of this image is how cold it feels. Yes, it was a cold day but I think the blue sky and the blue water help exaggerate the feeling along with the bare branches. This image was obviously taken in the winter time. And just like this previous tidal basin image, I really like how the clouds are mimicking the branches. It definietly adds to the framing and repetition of the image.

My camera settings for this image is 0.4 seconds at F22 and ISO 80 with my Sony A7II 16-35mm. You may or not be impressed that this was handheld, no tripods. When I read my camera settings, I was impressed… so….

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So you know that one of Sue’s highlights from the trip was the Ocean Path. If I had to pick mine, it would have been the airplane tour we did on our last night in Maine with Acadia Air Tours. We booked the “airvan” for 35 minutes at sunset. It was perfect because the plane was actually built for sightseeing.

But if you have never been on a scenic airplane tour, I have 2 photo tips for you:

1. Constantly check your images. The beginning of the flight was perfect. I had the correct settings to make sure I wasn’t getting any motion blur in my images. But as the sun was setting towards the end of our flight, I did not realize how much the light had changed.  I should have bumped up my ISO or something because all the images towards the end of the flight were so blurry. I wasn’t upset or anything, I still had a rockin’ time on the flight. Just check your images as you go!

2. Zoom lens all the way. I brought my 70-200mm just in case, but didn’t feel like I needed it at all. We were only up 2000ft max in the air and I was still able to get pretty good zoom-age with my 28-70mm. I say zoom instead of a wide angle because there were times when there would be a lot of sun glare on the windows. Especially when we were faced a certain way, it was very difficult to avoid it. At least with the zoom lens, I was able to avoid those spots as opposed to a wide angle or something that would have captured it all. Sue was taking pics with her phone and said that the sun glare was really difficult to avoid the entire trip. All of her photos had at least a spot.

So if you’re in Acadia National Park and want to see it from a different point of view or even have a totally different experience, I’d highly recommend Acadia Air Tours. Bernard was our pilot and he was so nice. It was very easy to talk to him and I didn’t feel like I was bothering him with the million and one questions I was asking 🙂  And if you do book a trip with them, tell them I sent ya!

This was taken at the beginning of our flight and my camera settings for this image is 1/25th of a second at F5.6 ISO 640.

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I am coming back home this weekend from Bar Harbor, Maine and can’t wait to share these pics with you all! We were up at sunrise, shooting at sunset and even took some night shots! If you’ve been following me on instagram this week, then you would have already known this from my stories. This week has flown by and I’ve been having a blast capturing it all. And let’s not get started with all the lobster I ate. So there it is, that was my official announcement so that the leaves back home can start changing colors. I’ll be back soon and can’t wait to shoot even more fall colors!

Oh and I have also been testing out these circular polarizers while in Maine. I purchased from two different brands on Amazon before I left. One is a slightly more expensive brand name and the other is not. The real test is when I bring them on the computer to see if I can see a difference. If you’re interested, I can create a blog post or a youtube video about them. Just let me know!

This image was taken about this time two years ago at Constitution Gardens in the National Mall. It was not a foggy day, but it was cloudy and dark. I feel like the sky made for a perfect setting for this moody image. One of my favorite things about Constitution Gardens is that its never packed. As a matter of fact, I’m usually the only one there. It’s so perfect! I can blast music from my phone with no ear phones on and no one would even know. So if you hear some reggaeton at 6 in the morning, you know who it is! 😉

My camera settings for this image is 1/25th of a second, F8 at ISO 160 on my Sony A7II 16-35mm wide angle.

 

 

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Happy Friday! Yay It’s here!

Lately I have not been getting excited for the weekend. Mostly because I have so much fun during the week that the weekend is kind of an afterthought to me. It is so weird. But it is true. I get excited for Mondays! But this weekend is an exception. I’m really looking forward to it.

Reason #1: It’s Frankenstein’s Birthday! My baby boy is going to be 8 years old. Seriously, where does the time go? I remember the day we brought him home. Currently, he is right next to me sleeping and snoring in his dog bed. But it is so cute! We plan on having a little birthday party for him on Sunday. Yes, we are those dog parents. But its our way of celebrating our favorite little pup. This was him two years ago.

Reason #2: I’m heading to Maine next week! I can’t wait. It will be my first time there and I’m guessing it’s going to be a great time. From what I hear, we should be visiting at the perfect time for fall foliage too. So if you’ve been to Bar Harbor or Acadia National park and have some good photo or food recommendations, let me know! I’ll make sure to add them on the to-do list.

Lobster Rolls, I’m comin’ for yaaaa!

So that means by the time I get back, DC weather needs to cool down. It’s been way too hot lately. Time for your leaves to start changing and your air to get crisper. I’ll be practicing in Maine but the real test will be when I get back home.  It’s FALL Y’ALL!

This image was taken in 2014 during the autumn season in Great Falls Park. The camera settings are 15 seconds F/22 ISO 50 shot on a tripod at sunset.

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It seems a little early, but I’m already thinking about pictures this year for fall foliage. Like I mentioned in my blog post last week, our trip to Acadia National Park is already booked.  I’m really looking forward to that adventure, but I want to  find more local places to take pictures. Great Falls Park has always been one of my favorite for this reason. The trees are beautiful and I love seeing the bright colors in contrast with the gigantic waterfall. I also really like it when you can see leaves falling on to the rocks. One of my favorite images from the past couple of years was one at sunset with the evening glow lighting up the Maryland side. Click here to see what I’m talking about. It’s not photoshopped. It was really that bright orange.

On a side note, I have also created this guide if you wanted to check out Great Falls Park yourself. You’ll love it. The guide and the park 🙂  If you’ve never been, the Virginia side is my personal favorite. The Maryland side doesn’t seem to have as many great viewpoints.

In more technical preparations for the fall color, I’ve invested in my first set of circular polarizers for my wide angle and zoom lenses. Hopefully I’ll get a chance to try them out before our trip. But I’ll let you know how I like them when I get back. Here’s a really informative blog post by Digital Photography School that pushed me to actually get them.

The camera settings for this image is 0.4 seconds at F/14 at ISO 100. Shot with no filters on a tripod. My favorite part of this image is being able to see the color of the sky in the water. I think I could stare at that one little section for hours.

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Cherry Blossoms! On one hand I wish they would stick around longer than a week at a time. On the other, I think it’s what makes me appreciate them even more. They’re so delicate and beautiful. My favorite is when they look like kernels of popcorn jumping off the branch.

My trick with cherry blossoms is to photograph them off the tripod. That’s right, no tripod at all. Unless you’re shooting the sky at sunrise or sunset, I feel like the tripod can be restricting. Especially when you’re trying for new angles and points of view. I tend to put my camera as close as I can get to them and start composing from there. They make for great foreground elements as well a good way to frame and using the branches for line. I particularly like this image because the cherry blossoms are coming at you from every which way. Some may say the ones in the very front should be in focus, but I like the out of focus ones the most. It adds an extra element of depth that you wouldn’t get if they were in sharp.

This was shot early morning, right after sunrise. So my camera settings for this image was F/8 at 1/1000th of a second ISO 1000. Not sure why my ISO was so high. That must have been a mistake. If I were to do it again, it’d probably be in the 100 to 200 range. Results would be the same but I’m sure during post processing I had to denoise it to get rid of the small specks.

Here’s hoping we get a normal winter this year and the snow stops falling in February instead of March like it did this year! A lot of these suckers didn’t’ get to full term this year 🙁