national mall

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Lately I’ve been getting more and more dm’s on instagram asking me about the camera lenses I use. To be honest, I don’t have very many. But I have plans of adding to my collection soon.

But if you’re at all interested in knowing, I have listed all my sony lenses and even my canon lens gear here. *If you didn’t know I used to shoot canon before I switched to sony about 3 or 4 years ago. So if you’re a canon shooter, check out this link. My friend, Andy asked me about my old canon wide angle lens and compared them to other canon wide angle lenses. Pretty interesting how he laid it all out.

For this image, I used my 16-35mm zeiss wide angle lens. It was the only way I would have been able to capture this entire scene in just one frame. I love the way the cherry blossom tree branch is reaching towards the bench and then spikes all the way up. It’s like the craziest 90 degree angle in nature I’ve ever seen. But I also love how that first branch is just arching right above, framing the bench so nicely. I’m sure I’ve walked passed this scene a million times but I’m so glad I saw it during cherry blossom season. The fluffy pink flowers just fills the scene so much more and adds a lot of color to an otherwise dark image.

My camera settings for this image is F5.6 at 1.3 seconds at ISO 800 shot with my Sony A7II. I don’t remember if I captured this with my tripod or not but I’m assuming it’s handheld. Otherwise the ISO would not be that high but to be honest, if it was handheld, I’m surprised I was able to hold my camera steady for 1.3 seconds.

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The National Gallery of Art is one of my favorite buildings in Washington DC. I love the architecture, the clean lines and obviously the interior space. But they also have some great cherry blossom trees in the spring time too. I’ve shot them before but this year, I wanted to spend a little more time here. Unfortunately the day I decided to go it was super cloudy, grey and windy. I definietly needed my tripod for this shoot.

I had this idea in my head that I wanted to do a whole series of images from this one spot. It’s still going to happen and I’m going through all the images but I thought this one was pretty cool. It reminds me of the two twin girl emoji, right? 👯 LOL Could you imagine if there was another one of me? LOL I think my mom would have ran away from us while we were in high school. I bet Andrew would love it though. HAHAHA

In order to capture this, I set my camera on my tripod and set the 10 second timer. I sprinted over to stand underneath the tree and as the shutter was going off, I just slightly moved my legs around as if I was just casually standing under the tree. Than I ran back to the camera to check out the image. It may have looked casual, but I was huffing and puffing in between takes. After about 3 tries, I was done and was happy with the way this one turned out.

Is it me or do I look super short in this image too? Oh well. It’s a pretty cool experiment in scale as well.

My settings for this image is F4 at 6 seconds and ISO 320 with my Sony A7II and 28-70mm lens on a tripod.

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I took this image at the same time I captured this one. Except at this time I did not know my batteries were dying. I was too busy enjoying the beautiful light that was peaking through the Japanese cherry blossom trees and kept on shooting and shooting away.

This whole cherry blossom season has been very cloudy. I think there may have been just 1 or 2 days that I was out that we actually had some sun out of the 2 weeks that they were here. So I was super excited to see the blossoms glowing.

You can’t tell, but I was standing next to my friend, Jarrett while capturing it. He’s the kind of friend that we never make plans to see each other but we always run into each other while taking pics. I always enjoy running into him, especially around the tidal basin because we have so much in common. He’s the type of person that you can say anything to him and he’ll have a funny story to tell you about that. So if you ever run in to Jarrett while taking pics, just ask him if he likes fried chicken. LOL.

So now that the cherry blossom season is pretty much done for this year, I some how forgot to mention this everywhere but on my newsletter that I updated my cherry blossom guide. LOL. I was in the shower the other day and realized I hadn’t put it on social media or anything! It was definietly a doh moment! So better late than never? At least you can use these tips for next year? Sorry about that. Here’s the link if you still have any interest.

My camera settings for this image is F8 at 1/160th of a second at ISO 400 with my Sony A7II and 28-70mm lens handheld.

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On my quest to find different cherry blossom angles, I came across this one. I love the way that it turned out. Whenever I look at it, it makes me feel like I’m in some kind of cherry blossom jungle and I have to somehow make my way over to the Washington Monument without making any of the pedals fall off. Is that weird? I dunno…

I met up with my friend, Larry and took him to a part of the Tidal Basin he had never been to before. It’s one of my favorite spots to go to especially during cherry blossom season because not a lot of people know about it and its usually far less crowded than the other places in the Tidal Basin. I have taken a couple of images from this place before, you can see them here and here. If you’re interested in seeing where this is, check out this map. I took it at that little part where it says “Kutz Bridge”. You have to cross Independence Ave to get to it from the larger part of the Tidal Basin but its well worth it.

Shout out to my friend, Navin for one of my favorite cherry blossom images ever and he took it from this exact location. It was because of him that I’ve been inspired to take so many different images from here but it would be very difficult to top his. Doesn’t mean I won’t keep trying though.

But with the crazy wind and rain that we got Sunday evening til Monday, it’s pretty safe to say that the cherry blossom season in Washington DC is over now. Don’t worry though, I took soooo many pics. It’s a little overwhelming to go through them all but just be expecting them… for about the next year or so. LOL. JK I didn’t take that many but it feels like I did.

My camera settings for this image is F8 at 1/10th of a second at ISO 640 with my Sony A7II and 16-35mm wide angle lens handheld.

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I saw the lady in Japanese pink komono. She was walking around with this weird looking umbrella and it immediately got my attention. I mean there is no way that umbrella can protect you from rain, sun or anything. It’s really just there for decoration right? What is she going doing with that? Then I noticed the man following behind her and it all made sense. So between the cherry blossom tree trunk I was watching (stalking) this group of people as they walked towards the Japanese Pagoda.

I usually like to mind my own business, especially when it comes to other people and their photoshoots but there was something about this one that I couldn’t ignore. Maybe it was the weird umbrella but it could have also been the perfect light and environment for this photoshoot. I mean how could you go wrong with such a pretty outfit during peak bloom of the cherry blossoms at sunrise? It was something I could not pass up.

My favorite part about this image is the out of focus cherry blossom branch right in the front of the image. I think it just creates so much more depth to the image that would have been difficult to communicate if it were in focus. I don’t know why but I love looking at that one branch. My second favorite part of this image is the photographer in the mid-squat. LOL. I know I’m guilty of this stance. Sometimes you just need to get a little bit lower to get the shot and he is doing it perfectly. LOL. I would love to see how that image turned out but I probably never will.

My camera settings for this image is F5.0 at 1/100th of a second at ISO 400 with my Sony A7II and 16-35mm wide angle lens.

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Finallyyyy a sunny day at the Tidal Basin. So far this cherry blossom season has been very cloudy, grey, and windy. Which isn’t necessarily a bad thing, but I prefer blue skies with my pink flowers. I think the color combination works so well together. So I was thrilled when we finally had clear skies and s-u-n.

This particular day I was not planning on being at the Tidal Basin, instead I parked my car along Ohio drive and I had every intention of staying on Ohio drive and shooting the cherry blossoms along the Potomac river. That quickly changed because I thought I saw some fog coming off the Tidal Basin and you know me and fog. It’s like a magnetic connection we have. I ran over to the basin and saw nothing. It was probably some kind of mirage or wishful thinking for some fog and cherry blossoms but either way, I’m glad I ended up there. Once the sun actually came up, the light hitting the blossoms was amazing! I couldn’t have asked for a better lighting situation. I could have asked for a better battery situation because out of the 3 batteries I had with me, I only had enough charge for about 30 minutes of shooting 🙁 I was so upset when the first battery started flashing the warning because I knew I didn’t have much left on the other ones. How could I forget to charge them?

Luckily I was able to squeeze just a couple of images at the very end of the battery life and came up with this image. I love the sunburst peaking through the blossoms. I think the flowers underneath that are the ones that I look at the most. They look as if they’re glowing.

My camera settings for this image is F22 at 1/125th of a second at ISO 400 with my Sony A7II and 16-35mm wide angle lens.