landscape

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Man o Man was Arizona hot! That’s what you get when you drive through a heat wave. I think the hottest we experienced was 115 degrees fahrenheit. Luckily, we were just in Tucson. I heard the heat was so hot that it was melting mailboxes in Phoenix! That’s pretty crazy if you ask me. We pretty much arrived in Tucson, went straight for the hotel pool, got out just in time for dinner in air conditioning and sunset in Saguaro National Park. The next morning we woke up and left Arizona, ASAP.

I didn’t expect too much from the park. I like to keep my expectations low so I don’t disappoint myself but it was way better than I had imagined! These Saguaro cactuses were huge. Way taller than me. So much fun to drive through and point at. If you’re planning on visiting anytime soon, I suggest starting out on the east end of the park where they have a paved road to drive through an 8 mile loop. There are a lot of pull over points where you can just stop and enjoy the views.

From a photographer’s standpoint I had a blast in this park but found it a little difficult to shoot. First of all, there are SO MANY saguaros. To single anyone of them out was difficult. Especially since there are so many cactuses around. They all sort of blended in with their surroundings if you wanted to shoot wide angle. So the way that I did it was to use a foreground element to sort of frame a really cool looking saguaro. I think if I had more time there, I’d also try to use the evening or early morning light to try to highlight the outline of the cactuses. I think that’d be pretty cool. Oh well, next time. Hopefully it won’t be as hot that time.

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Devils Garden in Arches National Park at sunrise. The best part about this entire trail was that we were pretty much by ourselves. Hardly anyone was out there so early in the morning. I felt like I had the whole park to ourselves. But we did run into a few chipmunks, deer, etc. They were cool.

If you’re interested in doing the hike, it’s pretty easy. For the most part the land is flat and the trail itself is well marked. The rock formations were great because they provided some shade underneath that hot sun. However, had I known earlier we would of been able to see so much more than we did. There was kind of a split in the middle of the road around this huge rock. Andrew and I didn’t know which way to go so we kinda decided to just walk back to the car and try out some other trails.

Which leads me to the question, how much research do you guys do before you leave for a trip? I have an idea of the things that I want to see when I visit a new place. I’ll mark them on a map and figure out which is better, sunrise, sunset, or during the day. But I’m not sure if I do enough research like how to get there or how long it will take. I kinda leave to when we arrive at our destination to figure that kinda stuff out. Partly out of laziness but partly because I know things always change. Road closures, construction, etc. Sometimes those things can be hard to predict. For the most part it works, but had I known the Devils Garden trail went a lot further out, I would of been able to see some more really cool arches. Oh well. You live and you learn.

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Walking around, I spotted this guy and I had to take a pic. Not only was the light perfect on him but he reminded me of Daryl from Walking Dead. But only if he was a photographer and not a walker slayer. What do you think?

At around sunset, Andrew and I found ourselves at the Big Chief Overlook. If you’re planning on visiting Dead Horse Point State Park in Moab, Utah, I’d highly recommend starting here. It’s at the very tipty top of the park but it’s great because you get these amazing PAN-oramic views of both sides of the park. The best was that I was able to follow the sunlight wherever it was going as it was setting. It can get crowded with people up there, but the ability to walk around the corner was amazing. I got so many cool shots from up there.  And how beautiful are these rocks against the falling sunlight? They were literally glowing.

Andrew and I spent a lot of time up there. We actually stayed up there way past sunset. Almost to the point where we could start seeing stars out. Not talking or anything, just enjoying the view. At one point, I told him to take some pics with his phone, so he took this one.

Pretty cool, huh? And all with no photo instruction from me. LOL. We joke that he’s this amazing photographer when in fact most of the pics he takes either has a finger in the corner or they’re really blurry. If you’ve seen some of his other iPhone pics, this one is definietly a major achievement. Seriously.

My settings for this image was F11 at 1/160th of a second. Super fast shutter speed to capture this beautiful moment. So glad I got to spend it with Andrew AND Daryl.

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Ya’ll know that I don’t shoot a lot of portraits. I love looking at them but I’m just more of an exploration person where I’d rather be out walking around and looking at stuff than to be tied down to just one subject. When I was first getting into photography, I was totally against having people in my landscapes. I just wanted the scenery to speak for itself but lately I’ve been changing my mind. Sometimes I think it’s cool to have people in your shots to show scale. Other times I think people make for some happy accidents and they really add to the image. In this particular case, I couldn’t help but capture this image. That’s my friend, Zack. While we were waiting for lightning (which never came), he made it appoint to show us the cool lighting that the Lincoln Memorial has to illuminate it at night. I’ve noticed it before, but never really ‘looked’ at it either. Then, in the middle of the rain, Zack jumped down to show us that it’s even cooler than what I thought it was. He’s crazy though. He stood there for a good 5 minutes while Dave and I shot him. My favorite part is the light coming from his jacket and the shadow casting onto the ground. You can tell it was a longer exposure by the car trails on the top passing by. By the end he was soaking wet. He’s crazy though because he could of at least put up the hood on his jacket. Of course, that wouldn’t of made for as cool of a shot as it is. He looks like a rain god. LOL

The camera settings for this image was F7.1 at 2 seconds with ISO 320. Thanks so much for standing so still while shooting this, Zack! I still think you’re crazy 🙂

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I did it! I said I would and I did. I finally visited Dumbarton Oaks garden and parks. Also managed to get Andrew to come with me too! I don’t know how that happened because it was a super hot and humid day when we went. It was 90 degrees but felt like it was closer to 100 with all the humidity. By the end of the visit, my dress was completely stuck to my back from sweat.

T O T A L L Y  W O R T H  I T.

As soon as I walked in, I felt like I was in Paris again. The gardens was all so beautiful and lush. Every tree and bush was manicured so beautifully. There was something so incredible to see in every corner. Its hard to say which part was my favorite. Can say it all was my fav? I definietly know I want to go back soon and spend more time there. I was also thinking how pretty it would be when it’s all covered in snow. *heart eyes cat emoji*

Anyways, this is the first building you see once you walk in. It must be used as an event space or something like that because it was completely empty. It was so beautiful to me to see it like that because it made the plants and ivy stand out even more. The light from the “roof” was the thing that attracted me the most to this little corner, but I love that empty vase. It makes things look a lot less perfect which I really enjoy. The whole time we were walking through the garden I asked Andrew if we could get remarried in this space. Not sure how he felt about that considering we got married less than 5 years ago and I’m already planning our second wedding.

Whatevs. We’re doing it!