national park

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The original intent of Snap DC: Your Guide to Taking Extraordinary Photos of the National Mall and Beyond was to help fellow photographers capture amazing images around the National Mall. I wanted to take all the knowledge that I have and put it all in one place to help anyone who wanted to photograph my favorite city. The first thing I did was mind map all of my favorite locations and quickly realized that I had a dilemma. All of my favorite places to shoot in Washington DC were not just in the National Mall. They were located in and around the city, including this place, Great Falls National Park which is technically located in Maryland and Virginia.

I had to decide if I wanted to narrow the focus to just the National Mall or keep it real and include all the other places. So I kept it real. I love Great Falls. Its such a great getaway from the busyness of the city. Who would have imagined that this magical waterfall is just 20 miles outside of the city. This was taken from the Virginia side and if you go to the Maryland side, it’s a totally different ballpark.

So if you were interested in learning more about Great Falls National Park, The National Mall or all of my other favorite places in the DC area to shoot, then check out Snap DC! It is finally going to be released THIS SUNDAY May 20th on Amazon as a paperback and kindle version. Also don’t forget that we’re photowalk-ing it out on Saturday, May 19th with IGDC to celebrate the launch of the guide book. This weekend is going to be so awesome. I can’t waittttt!

My settings for this image is F4.0 at 1/2500th of a second at ISO 500 with my Sony A7II and 16-35mm wide angle handheld.

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Sometimes I run out of things to talk about in these blog posts. So I googled one of those online quiz thingys and thought I’d answer some of them for you. Let’s see how this goes…

1. What are your nicknames? What do you prefer to be called?
My cousins on my mom’s side all call me ‘Angie’. My cousins on my dad’s side call me ‘Ang’. Somewhere between middle school and high school friends started calling me ‘Pangie’. I respond by all those names but always just introduce myself as ‘Angela’. I like it when people call me by nicknames though. It makes me feel like they’re comfortable enough with me to call me by another name.

2. What books on your shelf are begging to be read?
I’ve started all of them. I’ve finished about half. I’m mostly into self improvement books and biographies.

3. How often do you doodle? What do your doodles look like?
Not often at all but I used to all the time when I was bored in school. If I do, it’s like those line pattern things that quickly fill up the whole page.

4. What do you do if you can’t sleep at night? Do you count sheep? Toss and Turn? Try to get up and do something productive?
I usually get out of bed and go sit on the couch or something and read until I feel sleepy enough to fall asleep.

5. How many days could you last in solitary confinement? How would you do it?
2 days max but I would need my camera, laptop (only for photoshop) and a puzzle.

6. Who performs the most random acts of kindness out of everyone you know?
My husband, Andrew for sure! He’s always doing nice things for people, even without them knowing.

7. Are you a creature of habit? Explain.
Ummm… Yes! Daily blogging, I maintain an exercise routine of M,W,F and Saturday workouts, every morning I eat the same exact breakfest, the list seriously goes on and on.

8. When making an entrance in to a party, do you make your presence known? Do you slip in and look for someone you know? Do you sneak in quietly and find a safe spot to roost?
Slip in and look for someone I know. If I don’t know anyone, I head straight to the bar 🙂

9. What is your strongest sense? If you had to give one up, which would it be?
I’m guessing my strongest sense is sight? But if I had to give one up it would be smell as long as I could still taste without my smell.

10. Which animals scare you most? Why?
Ostriches. They are the root of my fear of birds. When I was little I had a reoccurring nightmare that one would pop it’s little head out of the ground, chase me, and peck at my hair. They’re big, scary and I don’t like them.

LOL How was that? Let me know if you liked this and maybe I’ll do more in the future.

The camera settings for this image is F4 at 2.5 seconds ISO 1250 with my Sony A7II 16-35mm lens and 10 stop neutral density filter.

 

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One of the coolest things ever happened last week. I got to attend the National Christmas Tree Lighting. Living in the Washington DC area my whole life, I’ve always wanted to do something like this. The White House hosts some pretty cool events throughout the year and I’ve always admired them from the tv screen. Shout out to my friend, Albert for inviting me to the event. We had great seats and enjoyed all the singing, dancing and obviously the Christmas Tree lighting. My favorite part? Seeing Dean Cain in person. OMG I loved him in Lois and Clark when I was younger. Hottie hasn’t changed one bit 😉

The whole event was being recorded for the Hallmark Channel so it was really cool to witness all the behind the scene productions. One thing I learned, they’re really sensitive about people walking in front of the teleprompter. Long story but a quick tip: go to the bathroom before TV filming begins. HAHAHA. But I loved how there was so much emphasis on preserving all the national parks since it was filmed in President’s Park and remembering those who can’t be with us during the holiday season, specifically those serving our country. The Beach Boys were awesome and a group of young boys called, “Boys II Bowties” were the cutest. I had so much fun!

The Hallmark special airs tonight. So if you see me, LET ME KNOW! We had pretty good seats and I did see the camera pointed in my direction a couple of times. I’m wearing a light grey coat with a green sweater underneath LOL. How cool would it be to see me on TV? (next to Dean Cain)

My camera settings for this image is F5.6 at 1/30th of a second ISO 2500 with my Sony A7II and 28-70mm lens.

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One of my favorite things to do after taking sunrise pictures is to just sit and enjoy the early morning light. Sometimes you can forget to enjoy the moment. Maybe you woke up late and you’re in a hurry to get to your location or you’re trying to find the perfect composition at the time the light is hitting you subject just right. There can be a number of things that cause you to stress so early in the morning which kinda sounds odd because photography is suppose to be a fun activity. But once all of that madness is done and you’re just left with the early morning light, it can be so peaceful to just sit and enjoy. Even for 10 minutes. It is the most relaxing and beautiful way to spend the morning. I love it. I just feel so happy and calm. Its a great way to just slow down. Rarely will I even have my cell phone out.

This was taken at Otter Cliff in Acadia National Park, Maine. Just looking at this image brings back those feelings of relaxation and peace. I remember sitting on those rocks after I captured this image and watching the sun for a good 20 minutes before doing anything else. That buoy in the distance was ringing a bell every time a wave rocked it over.  Sue and I were the only ones there and barely even said a word to each other. Is it weird to say that thinking about this image and what it took to capture it makes me look forward to waking up for my next sunrise? Yes. The answer is yes.

PS Where the otters at?

The camera settings for this image is F10 at 1/13th of a second with ISO 100 on my Sony A7II and 16-35mm wide angle lens.

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Reflections day 4. Man, this is gettin’ easy.
Check out day 1, 2, and 3

I took this image earlier this summer at Rocky Mountain National Park in Colorado. It was an early morning hike around Bear Lake and the water was so still. It was literally like a mirror when I saw it and immediately knew exactly how I wanted to capture it. I knew that I wanted it to look as if it were printed on a piece of paper and you folded it in half, you would see the exact same thing on either side. Kinda of like what you used to do with paint and paper as a little kid but with nothing else seen especially in the corners. I don’t know why but I was paying particular attention to the corners when I was capturing this. I didn’t want to give it any kind of location context.

A majority of the time, I’d probably want something in the foreground or something to divide it up, but not for this particular image. I wanted it to keep it as simple as possible and just enjoy the beauty of nature. Man, can you imagine what this place looks like now? It’d be so cool if the leaves changed color with this reflection. Praise hands emoji!

After I photographed this image, we ended up hiking around to this side of the lake but it was so difficult. The water levels were really high, there was still some snow on the ground (which you can see little bits of), and it was super muddy. Let’s just say the hike didn’t last too much longer after that. I’m really hoping to go back to Colorado in 2018. I seriously fell in love.

The camera settings for this image is F5.6 at 1/250th of a second ISO 160 with my Sony A7II and 28-70mm lens.

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Sometimes I’ll get into these zones and edit a whole bunches of images all at the same time, store them onto my desktop folder called “haven’t blogged yet” and then totally forget about them. This is the case with this image. I took it last week when it was crazy foggy at Shenandoah National Park and didn’t even bother posting it on instagram or anywhere else. Umm whoops?

In order to get into these zones, I’ll put on my ear phones and not even think about anything else other than the music I’m listening to and the image in front of me. It’s so fun. Although if you were looking through my window I’d look like a weirdo because I’ll be bopping my head and flinging my pointer finger around to the beat of the music. HAHA

To be honest, I’m probably done with Shenandoah National Park for the season. I’m going to try to concentrate on photographing more local areas to me like Great Falls Park and DC for the rest of the fall time. It’s not that I don’t love going, it’s just exhausting waking up so early in the morning, spending a couple hours there and then driving back. I usually won’t be home until the afternoon and it feels like most of the day has gone. But who knows? Maybe there will be a sunset shoot or night time shoot in my future? We’ll see!

My camera settings for this image is F5.6 at 1/40th of a second and ISO 250 with my Sony A7II and my 16-35mm wide angle lens.