clouds

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So after my lightning practice last week at the Jefferson Memorial aiming at the Washington Monument, I had another opportunity to shoot lightning the very next day. This time I was at the Artechouse, which you should definietly go visit. Their latest exhibit is probably my favorite so far. It’s a celebration of lights that really can not be missed. Anyways, I was about to leave the exhibit when I got an alert on my phone saying that lightning struck 3 miles away from my current location. So you know what that means right? Leave asap so you can go storm chasing!

I figured that the US Capitol was the closest, cool looking building to me. Luckily it hadn’t started raining yet and I always have my tripod in my car so I parked as close as I could to the Capitol and made my way over. I had a blast! The wind was blowing and the lightning strikes were crazy big. While I was at the Jefferson Memorial, I had to wait some time between each strike maybe a 2-3 minutes but this time they were coming every 15-20 seconds. It was AWESOMEEEE. I was out there for only 30 minutes or so before the real big rain hit but I’m super happy with the way that this turned out.

Every time the lighting struck it would light up the sky to this amazing blue/purple color. It was such a beautiful show. There were even people who were leaving the Capitol that couldn’t help but to stop and take selfies. Such an exiting night to say the least. I ran back to the car as soon as the rain really started to pick up and it was all good in the neighborhood.

My camera settings for this image is F4.0 at 1/13th of a second ISO 400 with my Sony A7II and 16-35mm.

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Not every photo shoot turns out well. Sometimes I’ll go out and not even pull out my camera and just end up walking around aimlessly. Sometimes I’ll snap a few pics but know that they won’t be my favorites. Other times the images need a little creativity in post processing and I feel like thats what happened with this image.

I went out one morning last week hoping for a colorful sunrise but ended up with some very blue, cloudy skies. The good news is that I found a new puddle and I’m really looking forward to capturing this same scene during a nice sunrise. There are a lot of puddles all around the US Capitol. So many great reflections to be found but I think what makes this one so unique is the fact that you can still see the US Capitol and some car trails to go in front of it. Very cool, if you ask me.

It was a little difficult to capture. Luckily I carry all my extra batteries and memory cards in this cheap, Forever21 makeup bag that is made of entirely plastic. I emptied the entire contents into my backpack and placed it in the middle of the puddle so that I could use it as a resting place for my camera without it getting wet. The key to this image was to get as low as possible and that was basically sitting on top of the puddle.

I liked the way that the image turned out but I thought that rotating it made it look even cool. It sort of adds an interesting element to it and reminds me of those ink blot tests. What do you see actually see in this image?

My camera settings for this image is F11 at 6 seconds with ISO 125 on my Sony A7II and 16-35mm wide angle lens.

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Not too long ago, Budget Travel reached out to me because they wanted to use one of my images for their blog post. They were writing a piece on the best places in the country to see the sunrise and obviously, Washington DC made the list (because it really is one of the best places!). So I was honored that they wanted to use one of my images.

Click here if you want to check out the article.

You may have remembered when I took this image. It was at the same time as this one. Isn’t it crazy how different it looks with a vertical crop vs. a horizontal crop? They were obviously taken a couple of minutes a part but they look so different to me. What about you? Do you see a difference? If so, which one do you prefer? Anyways, I love the way that this one turned out as well. I think it’s so interesting to see the cloud formations behind the trees. The reflection from the reflecting pool could not be any better!

On a side note, we just got back from our trip to Orlando yesterday. I had a blast! A much needed vacation after a pretty stressful time in life. I’m ready to get back out there and shoot! More sunrises and sunsets like this please <3 I’ll be back home for a little while now. No real trips planned as of yet but I’m getting the itch to go somewhere in springtime. If you know of any cool places to go to, let me know. Especially places with some beautiful flowers!

My camera settings for this image is F8 at 1/30th of a second at ISO 250 on my Sony A7II and 16-35mm wide angle lens on a tripod.

Thanks again Budget Travel!

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Going through some of my older images, I ran across this one. It is funny that I remember the exact day that I took it too. It’s the same day I took this image. You can’t see the sky or the sunrise as clear in the previous image but this is what it looked like from behind the peepholes. Pretty cool!

I also remember thinking that this particular day wasn’t going to be that great for sunrise. I arrived a little early and it looked like it was going to be too cloudy to have any kind of color. It’s ok, it happens sometimes. I figured I would just take the time to go out and try to find some new, interesting compositions and save them for when the sky was looking just right. By the way, the previous image was my “new and interesting composition” 🙂 Fortunately for me, I was wrong about the sunrise. The sky turned out to be way better than expected and I really love how this image turned out. I feel like theres every color of the rainbow represented in this image which makes me even happier to look at it. Even though I’ve shot this same scene a hundred times, I do not ever get bored of it. Its such a classic Washington DC shot and the reflection from the tidal basin is perfect. I couldn’t have asked for a better way to start the day than this.

The settings for this image was F22 at 0.8 seconds and ISO 80 with my Sony A7II and 16-35mm lens. Sorry I don’t remember if this was shot on a tripod or not. Knowing me it probably wasn’t. I was probably just using the ledge of the pedestrian bridge as a sturdy surface and hoping for the best.

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After our first snow of the season, I knew I had to wake up early the next morning and capture the sunrise. Somehow I knew it was going to be a good one. We had 2 days of really grey days so I knew the clouds were going to have to break up and bring in some of the sun light.

But this was not the image I intended to capture. I had every intention of shooting at the Tidal Basin. I thought it would be cool to see how the water did in the snow. Did it freeze over? or was there any snow still on the cherry blossom trees? I dunno. I wasn’t able to drive over there since all the roads around the National Mall was blocked off. I’m not sure why, but I’m thinking it was for some kind of parade or marathon. I’ve tried googling it and still can’t find the answer. Oh well.

So I drove over to the Capitol and figured it would be just as nice. I spent the morning just walking all around the Capitol grounds, blasting my music with no headphones. LOL it was awesome. There was hardly anyone around and it felt like I had the whole Capitol to myself. I felt so free to just walk anywhere I wanted to and was so happy when I stumbled onto this compass. I’ve noticed it before but never saw how reflective it is. I guess the melting snow made for great puddles in here. Love finding hidden gems like this. One thing I didn’t notice while taking this picture was the guy walking in front of the Capitol building. I love how he adds some scale to the whole thing. Yea, the US Capitol building is hugeeee.

My camera settings for this image is F5.6 at 1/80th of a second ISO 160 with my Sony A7II 16-35mm wide angle lens.

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You know, I photograph Washington DC a lot. LOL. A lot of the time it’s at sunrise. And lately there hasn’t been a real sunrise that has gotten me excited to shoot, except for this day! I woke up a little earlier than usual and made my way down to the National Mall. Driving in I knew it was going to be a real good one. It’s really hard to say how, but I can just tell by looking at the clouds. Needless to say, I was super hyped.

I knew right away that it was going to be a great photo day. I wanted to make sure that my feet kept on moving as I walked through the Lincoln Memorial, the Reflecting Pool and the Vietnam Veterans Memorial. I try my best to experiment with different compositions at the places I go to the most. I really don’t like going home with a SD card full of the same exact images. So the only way to prevent that from happening is to keep on moving. But something was calling me back to the Reflecting Pool. I knew it was going to be THE place to capture this amazing sky.

As soon as I turned the corner from the Vietnam Veterans Memorial, I stood in awe. It was AMAZING. My favorite is seeing the perfect cloud reflections in the water. In order to capture it all, I had to get real low. No tripod, just balanced my camera on the ground and hoping my winter shivers didn’t move the camera too much. It literally looked like the sky was on fire. Couldn’t have asked for a better morning!

The settings for this image is F8 at 1/20th of a second and ISO 250 with my Sony A7II and 16-35mm wide angle lens.