Lincoln Memorial

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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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During cherry blossom season, I was obsessed with finding puddles. I made it a mission to find whatever reflection I could get and try to make it work. So I figured after Monday’s rain that there would be tons of puddles. Wrong! There were hardly any. Even the ones that I knew that had to be here, were not even there. It was so strange. It was almost like it didn’t even rain. Oh well. So I was happy when I saw this one itty bitty little piece of reflection.

At one point while I was shooting other potential reflections, this couple from Panama came up to me. They told me that they owned a camera store and were desperately trying to get their kids in to photography. I must of looked like I had the biggest question mark on my face because I think they were trying to ask me for advice. I dunno? Give them a kick-ass camera and tell them to go play? That’d definietly motivate me to get more into photography. They were also super impressed by the fact that I’d get down low for my shot. So I showed them some of my images on my camera and for some reason I felt like they were really happy for me. The kind of look that only parents give. They were so sweet. I think it’s awesome that they were pushing their kids toward the creative side. At the end of the conversation they invited me to go Panama to eat sea food with them and visit their camera store. I have no idea what their names were or even where they live in Panama but it was so kind of them to stop and say such nice things. It really made my night that much better.

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I’m really hoping this marks the beginning of storms here in DC. Summer is my favorite just because we can get some really dramatic skies and this past Monday was no exception. It was super hot over the weekend and finally a cold front came in bringing this storm that created the most amazing skies right at sunset. The storm itself was a little disappointing. We were expecting lightning and only saw a few really far away. But the clouds, the rainbow, the light soooo made up for it.

I met up with my friends Dave and Zack at the Lincoln Memorial. We figured that while it was raining, it’d be a great spot to take cover and still take pics at the same time. It was so fun running back and forth on the outer perimeter of the memorial. At first we were in the front capturing the dramatic skies. All of the sudden I turned around and saw this amazing glow coming from the back of the Lincoln. We ran back there to check it out and take pics. Then we get a message from Zack saying there was a rainbow at the monument. We ran over and started shooting that. It was so fun and exciting. I know we weren’t the only ones doing going back and forth. So many tourists were running along with us. LOL.

My camera settings for this image was F14 at 5 seconds and ISO 50. I chose to shoot this as a long exposure so I could blur out some of the people in the foreground. *What were they all doing there standing in the rain anyways? This was definietly shot on a tripod but somehow I left my remote at home 🙁 Oh well. There better be more storms in next few months.

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Taken just 10 minutes before I captured this image. I had really high hopes of a colorful sky but it didn’t turn out as planned. It’s all good though. You win some and loose some. Although I wouldn’t actually call this loosing. The purple in the clouds was an unexpected surprise. The light bursts in the street lamps make this image twinkle and the subtle car light trails on the road makes your eye travel right along the image.

When I’m really happy with a shot, I usually take it a few times. Maybe like 2 or 3 times just to make sure I got everything in focus and exposed correctly before moving on. But for some reason, right after I was done shooting this I just kept it moving. I didn’t think it turned out the way I wanted at that moment in time. Looking at it again though, I enjoy it. I feel like I see a new twinkle of light or a new reflection along the statue with every glance. Or something like that. Bahh can you tell I’m having a love/hate relationship with this image. Let me know what you think of it. Do you like it or am I just going crazy?

For all you photographers out there who are interested, here are my camera settings: F/18 at 15 seconds ISO 50. Not sure why it was shot at F/18. I usually would set my camera to F/22 for images like this but I was still able to capture the image the way I wanted it. Definietly shot on a tripod for this 15 second exposure.

Hope you all have a great weekend! Not much planned for me except a girls night in with some of my closest girlfriends tonight. Other than that, I’ll be here and there like the wind. HAHA.

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You know, sometimes waking up for sunrise can be really tiring. Am I right?

Somehow I forgot about how little sleep I get, especially after the spring equinox, and I just keep going and going. It’s hard for me to remember to slow down sometimes. Well, I definietly felt the effects of that last week. I had woken up for sunrise 3 days in a row. I think out of all the days, 1 of them was really worth it. The day that I took this image at the Reflecting Pool right in front of the Lincoln Memorial. I was super excited to see that little bit of purple pop out of the deep blue sky. But by the end of the third day, I was EXHAUSTED. So, I’m really proud to say that on Saturday, April 22nd I slept in until 10a!!! That’s crazy! I don’t think I’ve slept that much in 10 years. I don’t know what got into me but it felt soooo good.

Ever since I got real serious about photography and ever since I’ve been waking up for sunrise, my natural body clock will wake me up about an hour after sunrise. That’s usually about 7 or 8a depending on what season we’re talking about. The most annoying part is that once I am up, I can’t fall back to sleep. If you had known me when I was in college, I would of thought that was the craziest, most ridiculous thing ever and it would never happen to me.  I purposely made it so I had all afternoon/night classes and I’d sleep in for as long as I’d want. Usually that mean waking up at 11a or 12p. To think about how much I used to sleep in really makes me jealous, but its all good. It’s all a part of growing up right? Becoming a real adult? or something like that.

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Sometimes finding a new point of view can be difficult. Especially if you’ve visited the same location multiple times. That’s always the problem that I have visiting the memorials. How can I make it look different from all the other times I’ve shot it. Sometimes I try to go at different times of day, other times I’ll make sure the sky is really unique or different. I’ll shoot high or I’ll shoot low. But I always try to make the memorials that I love so much different in each of my posts. So when I saw this puddle I was super excited. It was just this gigantic puddle in the middle of the grass/dirt. I got some crazy looks from people when I kneeled down to get closer to it, but I think it was all worth it in the end. There were people who even stopped next to me just to get down low to see what I was looking at. LOL. Some people may not get it but these puddle shots are quickly becoming some of my favorite to shoot.

The camera settings for this was F7.1 at 1/100th of a second at ISO 160. It was a pretty cloudy day. A storm was expected to hit a few hours later (and you know how I can’t resist shooting in storms). My main focus was to get everything even and symmetrical. I think my favorite part about this image is the tree leaning over. When you’re standing up you barely notice it, but I think with the reflection in the puddle the curvature is a little more exaggerated. It really acts as a leading line to bring you through the whole image.

Anyways, hope you all have a great weekend filled with fun, amazing light and beautiful views. We’re celebrating my brother and my grandma’s birthdays tonight with some Turkish food!