jefferson memorial

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Super exciting announcement number 2! I have two images featured in this month’s issue of the Washingtonian. When I first start out in photography, it was always a dream of mine to see my images published in print. Somewhere that people that I didn’t even know would see it. And I always had the Washingtonian as the benchmark to the ultimate local magazine I’d like to be featured it. Although I have been in the magazine several times now, it’s still a complete honor to be featured and I’m always super excited to see it. It never gets old, espcially with the Washingtonian where every single layout and spread is just so beautiful. I’m so grateful to be working with them.

Not only that, the Ball for the Mall had a special advertisement in the April issue so it’s like I had 3 images in the magazine. So mind-blowing.

The image above is one of my all time favorite cherry blossom images I’ve ever taken. It so simple yet it took a lot of time to create. I’m not sure why. It was one of those that I had to sit on for a while to make sure it’s how I wanted it. For those wondering, the background color is just from the tidal basin water. It was probably a calm day when I captured this branch.

The image below is the second image to be featured in the Washingtonian. It’s taking up the top portion of the table of contents page 🙂 When I showed it to Andrew, he chuckled a little bit and said ‘so getting people in your shots can be interesting’. Which is funny that he said that because I usually try to avoid it. However, I’m starting to like it more and more now.

April 2018 Washingtonian, washington dc, publication, magazine, cherry blossoms, tidal basin, national mall, featured, ball for the mall, sunrise, photographers, people, jefferson memorial,

The settings for the individual cherry blossom branch is F7.1 at 1/13th of a second ISO 400 with my Sony A7II and 100mm lens. The image with the photographers is F6.3 at 1/80th of a second at ISO 160 with my Canon 5D Mark II and 24-105mm lens.

 

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Yesterday’s sunrise was amazing. I checked my weather app the night before and it looked very promising. So I was excited to get out to the Tidal Basin, shoot sunrise and check on the status of the cherry blossoms.

You can see in this image that they are budding. I may have seen one or two trees that had a couple of blossoms on them but for the most part they looked like this. They definietly won’t be blooming this week. Hopefully by the end of next week. However the color in the sky and the cherry blossoms were not my main focus once I arrived. It was all the flooding that was on the sidewalks! There was so much water everywhere. A lot of the southern part of the Tidal Basin, close to the Franklin Delano Roosevelt Memorial, had large puddles and some were so big that they were impassable. It had got to the point where I really regretted my decision of wearing sneakers instead of rain boots. It made the grass all muddy and overall a really swampy situation.

I’ve seen the Tidal Basin flood before, but there had always been a reason. This day for example was right after we had a huge thunderstorm so obviously it was flooded. This day was crazy foggy and there was a lot of moisture in the air so I’m assuming that’s why it flooded. But we haven’t had any rain or snow in almost a week. There really is no reason why the sidewalks should have been flooded like they were. It’s bananas.

So if you’re like me and want to do something about it, check out the Trust for the National Mall’s website so we can help protect the Tidal Basin and Cherry Blossoms.

The camera settings for this image is F5.6 at 1/40th of a second and ISO 500 with my Sony A7II and 16-35mm wide angle lens.

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So it’s been one week since I decided to delete instagram off my phone. To be honest, I never expected all the kind comments and emails. I appreciate it sooo so much. You have no idea. Everyone has been extra supportive but I have decided that Ill download Instagram again for the Cherry Blossoms at the latest. Don’t get me wrong though out of the 7 sunrises that have happened since my instabreak, I’ve gone out to shoot 4 times. So even though I’m not documenting it all on social media, I’m still at it as much as I can.

What have I learned from the break? I spend entirely too much time staring at my phone! I don’t need to catch up with my friends by seeing what they’re doing on the internet. I can simply call them or text them and find out what’s been going on straight from the horse’s mouth and its so much better that way. I’ve also learned to be more present. At times I’ll be walking around and think to myself, what should my next instastory be? or this would be great for an instastory. This past weekend while I was walking around I thought, wow that tree is beautiful, I’m just going to take a picture of it because I like it. No one else has to see it, but me.

Now I’m not sure if this has any correlation or not, but I’m also taking the time to learn more too. I’ve been consuming so many youtube videos, listening to audiobooks and just reading in general. I’ve been learning a lot about mindset, wealth and photoshop tutorials. It’s been great!

Overall, I am so grateful for the break. It was definietly a recharge and I feel more inspired than ever. I do miss instagram and I’ll be honest, I have checked it out once or twice on my desktop computer which I justified by saying, it’s not really the same LOL. So this is just a thank you so much for all your support. I’ll be back soon and probably by the end of the week! As of now, I’m not in a rush. Instagram will always be there 🙂

PS that tree I was talking about was a cherry blossom tree in Alexandria, VA. They’re starting to pop up in different places and I’m so excited!

My camera settings for this image is F8 at 1/8th of a second at ISO 500 with my Sony A7II and 16-35mm wide angle len handheld.

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If you haven’t noticed, one of my all time favorite things to photograph are the cherry blossoms at the Tidal Basin every spring. It may get crowded and it may get over done, but I don’t know I just love them. It makes me so happy to walk around these big trees and feel like flowers are all around me. My absolute favorite is when we get a little gust of wind and you see the pedals flying off the trees. It’s literally like I’m in a winter wonderland of pretty, pink petals and I just get that warm fuzzy feeling inside.

So I started thinking, why do I like photographing these flowers so much? I think it all started from my Grandma. I call her Nai Nai. She lived with us all throughout my elementary school years. One of the clearest visions I have from that time is sitting at a desk with her and watching her paint Chinese water color paintings. I remember she’d spend hours practicing her strokes. She’d have one piece of paper and practice painting the same flower over and over again. I just loved watching it.

I’m not much of a painter but her love of flowers have rubbed off on me. If you look up from my desk, one of the first things you’ll see is one of her flower paintings (still waiting to be framed) and it makes me so happy. I think I’m subconsciously channeling my Nai Nai when I’m out taking pictures of the cherry blossoms.  Recently we were looking through my phone and I was showing her some of my photography. Every time I showed her a flower image, she’d look up at me, smile and say “PRETTY!” Other memorials and things, not so much. But if there was a flower, “PRETTY!” 😀

The settings for this image is F6.3 at 1/15th of a second at ISO 200 with my Sony A7II and 16-35mm wide angle lens.

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Here’s a crazy example of how foggy the Tidal Basin can actually get on any given winter morning. I mean come on! You can barely see anything in this image which I think makes it pretty cool. Its like you have to look really deep and kind of know what you’re looking at in order to make any sense of it. If I didn’t tell you, would you have even known? The most interesting part to me is that you can still see a slight hint of the Washington Monument’s reflection but I love the fact that you can see the rain drops in the water. Look at the bottom right hand corner. I love that trail of drops leading to the Monument. It must be something special if you can capture fog and rain all in the same image.

Here’s what it would usually look like if it weren’t foggy.

My camera settings for this image is F4.5 at ISO 320 at 1/640th of a second with my Sony A7II and 16-35mm wide angle handheld. As far as editing, I didn’t do much. I upped the contrast a bit just so you can see the monuments a little bit better and that’s pretty much it! Full on color image of what it looked like that one special Sunday morning.

PS Sorry not sorry there have been so many fog pictures lately. I love shooting the fog and the mood it brings. But I feel like 2018 has been especially foggy for me for some reason. I’ve never had so many wonderful opportunities to shoot in the weather and I’m taking full advantage! I just hope we get more days like this during cherry blossom season like we did that one time last year. That was seriously one of the best days ever. This is probably a close second <3

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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.