national mall

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We left to California at the right time. As soon as we left, Washington DC experienced a serious cold snap. My parents and friends were texting saying how they were going to come find us in San Diego because it was just so back home. I’m talking single digits with wind on some days. I felt so bad for them while I was sitting on our Airbnb’s patio staring at orange trees in 75 degree weather. LOL.

But in all honesty, I was a little jealous. With extreme weather like that you’re going to get some awesome pics. I saw so many of my instagram friends posting some really unique images like people walking on the frozen reflecting pool. What the what? I want to walk on the reflecting pool! That looks so cool. I even saw someone riding a bike and ice skating on the reflecting pool. That’s crazy! If I had ice skates, I’d be allllll about that. Triple axels and everything! HAHA JK. The most I can do is go backwards.

It’s all good though.

So when we got back, I was really hoping to get a little taste of it. I woke up yesterday knowing that my first sunrise back in DC had to be the Reflecting Pool. When I arrived, I was so excited to see all the ice chunks but I didn’t dare step on it because I wasn’t sure if it was still safe or not. Look at me being all cautious in the new year. LOL.

My camera settings for this image is F10 at 2 seconds and ISO 250 with my Sony A7II and 16-35mm lens on my gitzo tripod.

PS Every time I write “LOL” its because I’m really just making myself laugh while writing blog posts. Let me know if I should stop doing that because I think I’m funny so…

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Even though it was Christmas Eve, I still wanted to go out and capture the sunrise. On this particular morning the sunrise was beautiful but very fleeting. The colors in the sky only lasted for a couple of minutes and then went away. So I figured I would walk around more and see what else I could find. Luckily, my family didn’t have plans of getting together until lunch so I had time to wonder.

I’ve mentioned this before on the blog, but I am constantly moving and walking while I am out taking pictures. I honestly feel like there is nothing worse then going home with a memory card full of the same images. I can understand if you’re standing in the same spot and sky is changing or something like that but I really like to capture a scene and then keep it moving to find a different or even a better composition. So while I was wondering around, I found these cherry blossom branches that perfectly framed the Jefferson Memorial. I mean seriously, could it be any more perfect? *In my Chandler Bing voice*

My favorite part of this image is how cold it feels. Yes, it was a cold day but I think the blue sky and the blue water help exaggerate the feeling along with the bare branches. This image was obviously taken in the winter time. And just like this previous tidal basin image, I really like how the clouds are mimicking the branches. It definietly adds to the framing and repetition of the image.

My camera settings for this image is 0.4 seconds at F22 and ISO 80 with my Sony A7II 16-35mm. You may or not be impressed that this was handheld, no tripods. When I read my camera settings, I was impressed… so….

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Holy Smokes. 2018 is almost here. I can’t believe it but I’m sooooo excited. 2018 is going to be the best year ever. EVERRRRRRR.

But before the ball drops, I love going through and picking out my favorite images from the past year. I think they’re interesting to see since most of my favorites are probably not your favorite.  And I don’t have a top 10 or anything like that. It’s so hard to narrow it down to 10. I imagine it’s like your parents choosing who their favorite child is. So here it is, in no particular order, here are my 14 favorite image of 2017 from Washington DC.

And if you’re interested, click on each of the images to go back to that original blog post. I think it’d be interesting to see what I had to say about them at the time of taking the images.

washington dc, jefferson memorial, clouds, tidal basin, sunrise, early morning, reflection, national mall, national park service, presidential memorial, thomas jefferson, memorial,

Still remember this day like it was yesterday. It was amazingly foggy and I had spent a good 1.5-2 hours just walking around the National Mall. I was about to call it quits and walk back to my car when I saw the Jefferson Memorial looking like a dream. You know I had to stop and take a few more images.

Yayoi Kusama: Infinity Mirrors exhibit, infinitekusama, yayoi, artist, exhibit, Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, washington dc, museums, smithsonian, mirror, infinity, pumpkins, polkadots, rooms, creative, beautiful, thought provoking, light, dark, creativity, captivating, artist,

The Yayoi Kusama exhibit at the Hirshorrn was a HUGE highlight of 2017. I waited sooo long to see it and was honored to have been able to go twice. This image was from my first visit. I’m still amazed I got to go in the room by myself. Click here to watch my youtube video of the experience.

winter, washington dc, washington monument, trees, cold, snow, winter storm stella, spring, cherry blossom trees, sleet, slush, smithsonian, foggy bottom, metro, national museum of african american history and culture, hill, monument, trees,

Our first real snow of 2017 happened when the cherry blossoms were about to bloom. Oh man, I think this was the first time I really didn’t want it to snow. But in the end, it all worked out for the better.

cherry blossom parade, cherry blossoms, puddle, reflection, washington monument, washington dc, sun burst, strideby, walking, composition, live view, photographers, photo, washington dc, cherry blossoms, tidal basin, people,

YAY for cherry blossoms. You know I had to add at least 1 or 2 in here. I love this particular image because it’s so different from what I usually do. OMG there are people in my images. LOL. But my favorite part is the guy walking right on the sunburst. I was 100% lucky to be able to capture that.

cherry blossoms dc, washington dc, sakura, cherry blossom, fog, sunrise, early morning, spring, cherry blossom branch, couple, selfies, sakura, camera settings, zoom lens, sony a7ii, jefferson memorial, tidal basin

From one of the best days ever of 2017. The crazy foggy cherry blossom morning at the Tidal Basin.

washington dc, cherry blossom, cherry blossom festival, sunrise, fog, early morning, pink, white, trees, tidal basin, jefferson memorial, predictions, spring, winter, flowers, live preview, camera settings, composition,

Another one from that fog-a-licious day.

lincoln memorial, washington dc, east coast, travel, early morning, sunrise, president lincoln, mr lincoln, dc, early morning, people, person, scale, image, photography, photo, exposure settings

My friend, Del taking in the Lincoln Memorial.

Succulents, US botanical gardens, united states botanical gardens, capitol, capital, national mall, garfield circle, flower, water droplets, close up, flora, macro, sony, canon, metabones

I think it’s so interesting how the rain drops stayed balled up on top of the succulents after a big rain storm.

summer storm, washington dc, national mall, lincoln memorial, sunset, glow, rain, thunderstorm, clouds, reflection, puddle, travel, visit, parking, arlington memorial bridge,

Just a couple of minutes after I took the succulents image, I captured this amazing puddle.

hop on, hop off bus, tour bus, washington dc, us capitol, rain, storm, weather, summer storm, double rainbow, puddle, reflection street, architecture, government

Triple Rainbow!!! Never would have I imagined to have captured such a cool reflection shot. One of my all time favs.

tidal basin, fall colors, yellow, leaves, autumn, trees, cherry blossom trees, washington monument, reflection clouds, red trees, national mall, photowalk, photo shoot, early morning, sunrise,

I really love how the clouds are in the same shape and form as the branches. And that yellow/gold color *praise hands emoji*

United States Capitol, Washington DC, sunrise, early morning, capitol building, reflection, puddle, steps, trees, autumn, fall, waking up, statue of freedom, capitol hill, east coast, government, photowalk

One of my favorite unexpected finds.

Washington DC Sunset, the district, washington monument, rooftop, jefferson memorial, national mall, thomas jefferson, national airport, reagan, dusk, thanksgiving, giving thanks, grateful, photo, point of view,

So thankful for my friend, Christa who took me to this rooftop. Loved being up there!

Lincoln Memorial Steps, Washington DC, lincoln memorial, sunrise, glow, orange, sun, columns, steps, watch sunrise, nation's capital, national mall, winter, glow

My last sunrise of 2017. It was a cold and beautiful one. Just look at that glow 🙂

On Monday, I’ll have my favorite images from travel. Those are my favorite out ’em all!
Have a fun and safe New Years Eve everyone! See ya in 2018!

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Am I the only who feels like this or can the week between Christmas and New Years eve feel really slow and sort of like a blur? Like you have no idea what day it is anymore or even what to do with yourself? I don’t know it’s felt like that for me in the past couple of years so this year I told myself I wasn’t going to do that anymore and remain productive during the week. That started yesterday, the day after Christmas when I woke up to take sunrise pictures.

I woke up and checked my weather app and it said it was 26 degrees and cloudy. I don’t know about you, but that doesn’t exactly get me excited to wake up but I told myself that I was going to do it the day before so I did it.

Oh man, it was so worth it. The sunrise was beautiful! One of the best ones I had seen in a while. But the best part was when the sun was already up and that early morning glow hit the the Lincoln Memorial. The memorial doesn’t glow like that at any other time of day but sunrise. I love how it makes the memorial look orange. I was in the middle of walking down the steps when I turned around and saw this lady enjoying the sunrise as much as I was. I had to stop and take pictures. She had to have known I was taking pictures of her because we basically had a whole photoshoot together. LOL. Either way, it was such a great way to kick off that in between week that you just don’t know what to do with yourself.

The camera settings for this image is F8 at 1/200th of a second and ISO 500 with my Sony A7II and 16-35mm lens.

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This was definitely one of my favorite days of 2017! Obviously Washington DC is famous for it’s cherry blossoms in the spring time but this past season was sooo unique. We had a crazy warm winter which lead to a weird snow that we got in March. It was so unexpected and out of nowhere. Everybody was so confused by it, including the cherry blossoms! They had already started to bloom and all the weathermen in the area were saying how this year’s cherry blossoms weren’t going to be doing too well.

They were right and they were wrong. A lot of the trees still peaked but some trees were complete duds. The flowers themselves weren’t as vibrant as they usually are. Which was totally fine by me because I think that also mislead a lot of people and they all decided to just skip the blooms this year. It was purrrfect.

So this was taken on a particularly foggy morning where you could barely see 10ft in front of you. It was soooo awesome and so much fun to photograph. I was probably out for 4 hours or something like that just photographing the flowers. The best part was that there was barely anyone there! Usually this place would be packed. I was in a photographer’s dreamland.

My favorite part of this image is seeing the slight reflection in the tidal basin water. It’s crazy to think that just right behind that branch is the Washington Monument which is totally covered by the fog. I usually use it as a point of reference because it’s so tall but you couldn’t even see it with your naked eye. It was bananas. And I love bananas. LOL

The settings for this image is F6.3 at 1/40th of a second and ISO 200 with my Sony A7II and 16-35mm lens.

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Monday mornings. Usually people dread it. Me, I love them. I love what I do and when weekend plans don’t get in the way of doing what I love, I can’t help but welcome the day with open arms.

Although this past Monday started superrr early. I’m talking 3a wake up call. Y’all know me and how I’m a morning person, but I’m also a person who likes to sleep through the whole night. LOL. My friend, Larry, told me he was going to go to the National Mall to try to capture the super moon setting, so I had to get up and join him. The moon was alright, but the sunrise was amazing!

So we met up by the WWII memorial and had plans of capturing the super moon over the Lincoln Memorial and use the Reflecting Pool for the reflection of it all. What’s better than a super moon image? 2 super moons in one shot! I still think the images turned out pretty good, but while we were waiting for the moon to set, we started to play around with different images and angles.

So for this image, I set up the shot, Larry helped me by hitting the trigger and our friend, Dave helped out by lighting me up. It was totally a group effort and am so happy with the way it turned out. Thanks guys for all your help!

Super moon shoot was fun, but I think I’ll just stick to sunrise next time 🙂 Or just capture the moon it as it rises. I was definietly feeling the effects of an early wake up by 9am. At that time, I had already been up for 6 hours! Craziness!

The settings for this image is F5.6 at 4 seconds and ISO 500 with my Sony A7II and 16-35mm wide angle lens.