jefferson memorial

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 >

You wouldn’t be able to tell from this image, but there were tons of people out. All these school field trips, buses of tourists, and just people who wanted to see the sights at the Tidal Basin. So it was difficult for me to find my own little corner to shoot, but I did it! The secret is to figure out where all these people were coming in and exiting from. Its usually the same area, so I just walked on the opposite side of the memorial and BOOM. Clicky-click city.

This was during sunset but the weather had been calling for on and off showers all day. Music to my ears! So I went out, not really expecting much but the clouds were so dramatic that it was so easy and fun to shoot. I love how the steps of the Jefferson Memorial create a leading line to the Washington Monument. Also the tree on the right creates the perfect compliment for framing to the columns. But my absolute favorite part of the image is the distorted reflection of the Monument on the steps. So cool and interesting to look at. Who knew the marble was THAT reflective.

My camera settings on this image were f/5.6 at 10 seconds. I used my ND filter to slow down the exposure which is really showcased in the movement of the clouds. Good thing it didn’t rain for the rest of the night. I was having a ball with this sky. Also shooting at a long exposure can really blur out some of the people in the image. I think I’ll try for a slightly shorter exposure next time and experiment with the people. Kinda similar to this image I took in New York City at Grand Central Terminal a couple of weeks ago. Yea… that might be kind of interesting.

 

All photos available for print and licensing >

I took this right before I left for my trip to Colorado and Utah. Its of the Jefferson Memorial and a big puddle I found on the street right behind it. I distinctly remember trying to walk a different way than I usually do to the Memorial on this day but that meant weaving through a whole bunch of buses and school field trip children to get to it. I know I must of looked crazy because I got so many weird looks. Like why was I kneeling down in the middle of the road? Middle school kids can be so judgey. LOL JK not really. Whatever. I got a cool shot, right?

On a completely different note, tomorrow is the start to a brand new adventure! My friend, Sue and I are about to hop in a car and drive cross county to California. Final destination, San Diego! It’s going to be B-A-N-A-N-A-S. Can’t wait. Here are our stops in case you are somewhere around us or if you have any tips for things to see along the way.

Day 1: Nashville, TN
Day 2: OKC, OK
Day 3: Santa Fe, NM
Day 4: Alamogordo, NM
Day 5: Tucson, AZ
Day 6 & 7: Los Angeles, CA
Day 8,9 & 10: San Diego, CA

I’m most excited about White Sands National Monument. Every picture I’ve seen from that place is BEAUTIFUL. Same with Tucson, AZ. Seguaro National Park is definietly on the to-do list. Now that I think about it, this whole trip is going to be a brand new to me (minus the places in California). Can’t freakin’ wait! A cross country road trip has been something on my vision board for a while now and I can’t believe it’s finally happening. Be sure to check out my instagram stories to follow along on the adventure but most of it will be on my youtube channel when I get back 😉

All photos available for print and licensing >

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.

All photos available for print and licensing >

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, I love shooting the fog. *but knowing me, I’ll probably tell you a 100 more times so just pretend it’s like your first time hearing it each time I tell you. You know that scene in Cinderella when all the birds and mice dress her up for the ball? It’s like a whirlwind of magic and then all of the sudden, she’s ready? That’s what it’s like shooting in the fog for me except I really hope there are no mice circling me and I pretty much look exactly the same as I did before it got all foggy. But what I mean by the Cinderella reference is that I feel like I’m being wrapped up in this warm magical cloud whenever I’m walking through the fog. It’s absolutely amazing. But what it does to the scenery is even better. Everything is so muted and reduced down to the bare minimum. If I could wake up everyday to fog, I’d be a happy photographer.

That’s why I was super excited when I saw the Jefferson Memorial like this. Just a tiny hint of reflection in the Tidal Basin water with a bit more of the top of the Jefferson Memorial and cherry blossom trees peaking through. You have just enough information to know where this is. You may think this is black and white, but it’s not. Just the way the scene presented itself. I was standing on Kutz Bridge literally in awe of it all.

This was shot on my tripod with camera settings F/9 at 1/30th of a second with ISO 200. Not much photoshop editing with this one either. The hardest part was getting rid of all those dust spots! Man am I the only one who can never keep a clean sensor?