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Another one from last year. For some reason, I never thought to post it. Strange, huh? This was taken while I was at the Air Force Memorial in Arlington, Va. There were a lot of lightning strikes over in DC and it was the perfect place to be to capture it all without getting wet 🙂 I never posted it because I always thought the original image looked like it was so far away. Never had I thought to crop it. But once I did, it totally changed the perspective. Here’s the original with no editing at all:

Can’t you see how that one little edit can make such a difference? I probably have at least 10 more of these kind of shots from this day that if I did some fancy cropping to it, it’d turned out the way I’d like. It’s funny how a gem like this could really be looked over immediately.

So here are my camera settings: F5.6 at 1/15th of a second at ISO 400. I’v heard of other photographers leaving their shutter open for a couple of seconds in order to capture lightning images like this. I’ve never had such luck. I think I just got real lucky because there was lightning going off every minute at least! I had plenty of opportunities to time it and make sure I captured something good and quick. The tricky part of lightning is that it’s so quick and it’s such a big burst of light.

Here are a few tips: 
– Definietly shoot on a tripod with a remote but also be very careful if your shooting with a metal tripod.
– Try to shoot with a wide angle. Lightning moves and it’s better to shoot wide and then crop in if need be
– Shooting at night time will give you the best results

If you have any other questions about shooting lightning, let me know. I think next time we get some good lightning in the DC area, I’ll make a video for you to go more in-depth.

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One of my favorite places to go to when I want to spend a day outside. It’s crazy to think that this amazing place is only 15 miles away from Washington DC, yet there are so many people who still have not visited.

When I think about Great Falls Park, I always think about high school. That was when I was first getting into photography and my mom would take me to practice my compositions. I also remember having to write a school paper about the park with my friend Anna. We walked the trails and researched the heck out of the history but only got a “B” on that paper. It’s ok though because I also remember gossiping and laughing our way through the whole project. It was kind of a miracle that we even got it together enough to write the paper.

As an adult, Andrew and I have taken our nephews to the park to play soccer or we’d walk the trails with Frankie. When we first started dating, we walked the whole entire Billy Goat trail while getting to know each other. Another time my cousin, Lynn came to visit from North Carolina and she got her first signs of pregnancy in the park 🙂 And I can’t even count the amount of times I’ve been here and witnessed the most amazing sunrises and sunsets.

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The amazing beauty of the Potomac River on a cold winter morning

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Close up view

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We’re not the only ones who love the park. Its not uncommon to see these beautiful blue herons fishing for dinner.

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The park is so big that it is in both Maryland and Virginia. This is a small part of the Maryland side.

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Although Virginia is still my favorite side

Hope you enjoyed that stroll down memory lane. I didn’t realize how much Great Falls park meant to me until I had sat down and looked through all these images. I hope that you enjoyed it as much as I did <3

 

In case you missed the any of my other DC guides:

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Spring is my favorite time to be in DC. Why? Because of cherry blossoms of course. The city seems to come alive when these flowers start to bloom and if you’re not from around here, it may be a little difficult to navigate. So here are my best tips to enjoying the DC cherry blossoms

The most popular place to see the trees are at the Tidal Basin.

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Great way to spend the day!

Parking will be very limited so my suggestion would be either metro or go really early in the morning.

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And by early, I mean sunrise

The closest metro stop to the Tidal Basin is “Smithsoninan” which is cool because you can also see the cherry blossoms by the Washington Monument on your way there.

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Cherry blossoms everywhere!

And it gets packed pretty quickly, so thats another good reason to go as early as possible

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This isn’t even half of the half…

But no matter how early you go, there will always be other people out

O Hai Thar!

O Hai!

Other viewing spots include, the US Capitol

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Not as many but still cool to see

and my favorite super secret spot, behind the Smithsonian Castle at the Moongate Garden

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You can’t see any memorials from back here but you will see the Cherry Blossoms with a smaller crowd

Hope you found these tips useful. If you have any other questions, put them in the comments below and I’ll try my best to answer your.

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Another image just for kicks 🙂

If you’re new to the DC area, check out my other guides on: