looking up

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Whether it is sunrise or sunset, I have a group of places I usually default to depending on the time of day. The Martin Luther King Jr memorial is not my usual sunset spot. Actually, I don’t know if I’ve ever taken a photograph here at any other time of day besides sunrise. The only reason being is that I know it gets packed with tour buses as the day goes on and I try my best to avoid that.

So a few weeks ago I got commissioned to take some pictures of the memorial. I was waiting for a cloudy day because I knew the sky would take up most of the image. The previous days had been too cloudy though. So cloudy to the point where it almost looked like a cloudless sky because there were no details in the clouds at all. Just straight up grey. Until finally I was driving around, running some errands when the sky started to open up. I knew that sunset would probably be my only chance of getting the image I wanted, so I took my chances and headed straight to the Tidal Basin.

I was correct in the fact that there were bus loads of people all around the memorial. But I was also correct in the fact that the sky was going to be amazing that day! This was not the image I was commissioned for, but to be honest, I think this one is better! I love the way the way the colors in the sky are casted in the clouds. Maybe I should add the Martin Luther King Jr Memorial to my sunset list instead of sunrise. LOL, what do you think?

My camera settings for this image is F5.6 at 1/200th of a second at ISO 800 (handheld) with my Sony A7II and 16-35mm wide angle lens.

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Although the peak bloom dates that everyone watches out for are for the cherry blossoms by the Tidal Basin, there have been some other random cherry blossom spottings around the city. This particular tree can be found at the corner of the Library of Congress. They weren’t all fully bloomed yet but I feel like they were late enough in the growing stage that they may be effected by the cold and snow. They were fun to photograph but its kind of sad at the same time. Who knows how long these flowers will hold on with all the snow that’s covering them.

But I have some good news. I heard that the Magnolia trees may actually be ok from the snow. If you’re interested in keeping up to date with the Smithsonian gardens and the DC blooms in general, I recommend following James, the horticultureguy on instagram. He’s a new follow for me but he seems to update almost daily on the gardens and it’s awesome! He was even able to capture the Enid A Haupt garden in the snow and the images are so beautiful. I tried to go, but the gates were closed 🙁  Anyways, he said that they spent the day knocking the snow off the trees and he’s thinks the flowers will be fine. Guess where I’ll be this weekend? LOL

Hope you have a great weekend! As of now, we’re expecting more snow Saturday evening to Sunday morning. You can’t see me but I’m rolling my eyes at the computer screen right now. I really hope that it doesn’t happen. I’m so ready for spring, spring flowers, warm weather, and cute spring dresses. No more snow!

The settings for this image is F11 at 1/160th of a second at ISO 200 with my Sony A7II and 16-35mm wide angle lens handheld.

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As I was sitting here looking at this image, thinking about what I wanted to say on this blog post, Andrew walked over to my computer screen and pointed at the image. This is unusual because he said , “Hey, that’s nice!” It’s unusual because Andrew doesn’t always like my images. I’d say about 50% of the time he doesn’t like them. It’s all good though. Because 50% of the time I don’t like the shirt he’s wearing. LOL. Just kidding. I appreciate his honesty. I rather him tell me what he really thinks of my images then him lying to me and always trying to please me.

But seriously, what’s not to like about this image? It’s like you’re being showered in pink petals and I love it. I love the magnolia trees that pop up all around Washington DC in the spring. And if I’m being honest, sometimes I think I like them a little more than the Cherry Blossoms just because they’re so much bigger and more abundant. It’s also nice because you don’t have to fight the crowds to photograph them either. But this view of looking up at them is my absolute favorite. The curves in the branches are so interesting.

These particular trees are located behind the Smithsonian Castle in the Enid A Haupt Garden. My favorite place to photograph magnolia trees because there are just so many of them in one location. Now that I’m thinking about it, forget what I said earlier this week about the snow. I’m ready for the flowers!

My camera settings for this image is F4.0 at 1/160th of a second at ISO 200 with my Sony A7II and my 16-35mm wide angle. The wide angle lens was key so I could get as much as of the flowers in one frame as possible.

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On the same day that I was looking down at times square, I was also looking up. I took this image about 30 minutes before that other one from the rooftop bar and I was actually on solid ground for this one. HAHA.

I’ve always wanted an image like this from times square. The buildings are just so massive all around you that I knew there was a way. For some reason, I’ve found it really difficult to capture in the past. I guess all I needed were just some dark cloudy skies and birds flying above me all at the right moment. Patiences is obviously key in photography. But I really like this image because it just feels like a big hug from the buildings. Everyone all at once, “awwwww”.

Without my 16-35mm wide angle lens, I would not have been able to capture all of it. But now that I’m looking at the image again, I wish I would have gotten lower to capture it. If I was kneeling down on the ground, I think I would have been able to capture much more of the buildings on the edges and maybe would have been able to fill in some of the spaces in between? Who knows. Either way, I’m happy with the way this one turned out. There was a fair amount of lens correcting that went into this. I also like how the cloudy skies give the buildings a mood of darkness. Usually when you visit times square, all you see are the lights. It’s like a totally different view.

Which makes me think, if I didn’t tell you that this was times square, would you have been able to guess the location?

My camera settings for this image are F/8 at 1/60th of a second ISO 400.

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Before we left on this road trip, we had all our stops planned. But the original plan was to stay in Roswell, New Mexico because Sue’s bananas over aliens. But days before we left I was on tripadvisor.com and everyone was saying how Roswell was very disappointing it was. Skrt Skrt– change of plans.

Luckily we were able to adjust our plans to stay in Santa Fe instead. In hindsight this new plan was a 100x better. Not knocking Roswell or anything but we drove through it and the 15 minutes that we spent in the town was all we needed. It probably would have been cool at night time but for us to get the most out of the trip, Santa Fe was a much better idea.

I was so excited to be visiting. It’s one of those places that I’d heard of before but never thought I’d ever visit. My mind immediately went straight to the Georgia O’Keeffe museum. One of my all time favorite artists. I just admire her paintings, creativity, and boldness so much. I could not wait to visit!

georgia okeefe museum, exhibit

Thats me looking at some images of the artist. I swear I’m wearing shorts!

We ended up staying one extra night in Santa Fe so we spent the next day in Tent Rocks National Monument. I guess I was still thinking about O’Keeffe’s flower images while walking the trail because I see some of those abstract qualities in the image above. I took the image while we were walking through the extremely narrow slot canyons. Everyone was concentrating on what was ahead on the trail, I ended up just looking up.

I can see why O’Keeffe loved New Mexico so much. It’s a such a beautiful state and I’m so glad we got to spend extra time traveling and sight seeing. I really look forward to visiting again.

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Happy Memorial Day!!! Going through some of my older images, I found this one. Can you guess what it’s of? It took me a while to figure out too. I even showed it to Andrew and he had no idea what it was of and he was standing right next to me while I was taking the picture. But to be fair, I took it in 2011 so it’s been a while. At first I thought the flags were hung together by string or that it might of been kites or something like that but it’s not… they are….

Skydivers!!!

How fun is that? I completely forgot about this but I thought it was very appropriate for Memorial Day.

Thank you so much for all those who have served our country. You have made it a better and safer place for all of us to live today. And a special thank you to all those families who have lost loved ones for our country. I will be thinking of you today.

On another note, Andrew and I have arrived safely in Colorado and had a great time exploring Denver. Today we’re taking the drive down to Moab, Utah. This is the part of the trip that I’m looking forward to the most. Just driving around and making stops along the way to see more of our beautiful country. I’ve never been to Colorado or this part of Utah so if you want to see some behind the scenes stuff of our trip, check out my instagram story. I’ll be posting a lot on there.

This image was taken on my 5d Mark II at f10 at 1/30th of a second ISO 100. I remember it being close to sunset time so that’s why the light from the clouds aren’t too harsh. Just right to really show off the American Flags.