national park

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Thanks again for everyone’s feedback on the questions I asked earlier this week. It was so great reading everyone’s emails and messages. I felt like I got to know you a little bit better.

If I had to come up with some quick conclusions, about 50% of you are photographers the others are just art lovers. Most of you want to see some more youtube videos and just about 100% of you have some kind of connection to Washington DC. A lot of you just like the stories behind my images and just a few would like to know a little bit more about my editing processes, composition, etc. More than anything, I’m just grateful some of you actually replied to my questions. It helped out a lot and will definietly help me come out more interesting content in the future. Muchas Gracias!

So considering the fact that you all like Washington DC so much, heres a picture of Utah! Lol JK. I was just looking through some my images from last year and stumbled upon this one. I loved our trip to Colorado and Utah last year. It was definietly one of our more memorable trips Andrew and I have had considering we almost died. Twice! This is one of the stories. One day I’ll tell the second one. Maybe… hahaha. And if you needed more of a visual, here’s the vlog.

It was so hot while we were in Utah. Even looking at this image makes me sweat and it almost did not happen. Andrew and I had woken up to take sunrise pictures and that went great but as soon as the sun came up we wanted to get out of there. We were driving in our air conditioned car when we noticed saw Park Avenue. We didn’t see it on our way in because it was dark but as soon as we saw it in the day time, with all the amazing shadows I just had to stop. I love the orange/red rock next to the clear blue sky.

My settings for this image is F11 at 1/160th of a second at ISO 250 with my Sony A7II and 28-70mm lens.

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This image reminds me of this song. No particular reason why but whenever I am feeling like I’m “on top of the world” Brandy immediately comes to mind. LOL and the music video used to be so ground breaking back in the day with the different camera angels. HAHA.

Anyways, this image is from top of Old Rag Mountain in Shenandoah National Park in Virginia. I love the perspective because it almost seems like the people are just as large as the boulders. Believe me, those boulders are HUGE! And there I go again with the 3’s 🙂

The hike up to the summit is no joke though. I was pouring sweat the entire time. The east coast humidity didn’t help much either. I’m pretty sure those people were feeling it as well. But I’ve been getting private questions about how I find my hikes so I thought I’d address that here. Usually I’ll go by word of mouth and other people’s recommendations but if I’m looking into something totally new and different, then All Trails is definietly my go-to. It gives you all the information and more to prepare for your trip. My favorite part is when other hikers include images from their hikes so you can get a feel for what to expect.

All Trail labeled this hike hard and I would definietly agree. Our group had to stop a couple of times for water breaks but if you do this, I’d highly recommend brining more than just a little snack. Andrew and I both brought Vietnamese Báhn Mì Sandwiches and we were still hungry. So if you plan on hiking Old Rag, prepare for a long hike with amazing views on top!

My camera settings for this image is F5.0 at 1/1600th of a second at ISO 400 with my Sony A7II and 28-70mm lens.

All photos available for print and licensing >

This may sound crazy but a couple weeks ago I bought my very first pair of real hiking boots. For the amount of hiking that I’ve done with just plain ol’ sneakers, these definietly came at the right time. Don’t get me wrong or anything, I feel no aches or pains with my sneakers, I just think that I’ll be better supported with some proper footwear. They’ll definietly come in handy next month 😉

But for now, heres an image from my last hike. This was taken at the end of the trail at Old Rag in Shenandoah National Park. Just steps away from the parking lot was this house covered by trees and bushes. It down poured on us at the end of our hike. By the time I reached this house it had already stopped raining but all the steam that came from the rain and the humidity mixing literally made everything glow. I just love how that one branch is pointing directly at the point of the roof to make everything so centered in this image. Even the trees surrounding the house almost look perfectly straight as if they were grown for this image. Everything is just so straight up and down, I love it!

Also, if you’re not busy tonight, you should definietly come out to the Community Collective show at Sospeso. This is the third time that my friend, Jarrett has put together a show to showcase so many creative people in the Washington DC area. It should be a great time. I even have a piece that will be featured and is for sale. So if you’re interested in seeing some great art work, click here to find out more information 🙂

The settings for this image is F5.0 at 1/320th of a second at ISO 800 with my Sony A7II and 28-70mm lens.

 

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This image is nuts. I can’t even believe I captured it because it’s really not supposed to look like this at all. This has got to be the worst flooding that I have EVER seen at the Tidal Basin and I’ve seen it flooded a number of times before. For example, here and here and even here.

The sidewalks were totally not walkable at all. I didn’t have my rain boots on this day but that would not have mattered. At some points I think the water came up to my knees. At that point I would have needed waders. Which is a funny story because I actually have a pair. Don’t ask me how I was given a pair… just trust me in knowing that I look super cool in them.

In order to captured this, I walked along the grass the entire time. It was pretty sad to see so many cherry blossom trees just wading in the water. At some points I would even see ducks swim by in places that was supposed to be a sidewalk. It was almost like I was walking through a really weird dream.

The only good side to this is that the reflections were unbelievable. The water was only moving when ducks would swim by but otherwise it was like glass. The sunrise was way better than expected so I was super happy to be able to capture it all in the water and make it look even more dramatic with the reflections.

My camera settings for this image is F4 at 1/500th of a second at ISO 1000 with my Sony A7II and 16-35mm wide angle lens. I noticed that a lot of the images I captured this day were in the shadows because I was walking around in the trees so much (with no tripod) so I had to bump up my ISO to compensate.

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Honesty hour…

Lately I’ve been thinking about my style of photography. I think I’m most known for sunrise at the Washington DC monuments, but I want to be more than just that. I want to become a more well rounded photographer that can photograph much more than empty, open spaces. I want expand and push my creativity. I’ve started to photograph more street, lifestyle, and portrait work but haven’t really said anything about. I haven’t really said anything about it because it’s not what I’m known for. And is it really even that good? I dunno, but I am enjoying it and when it comes down to it, that’s all that really matters, right?

So this is an example of the type of work that I’m leaning more towards. Don’t get me wrong, I still love my landscapes and sunrises but I’m expanding. This was taken memorial day weekend on the Old Rag trailhead in the Shenandoah Mountains. Typically I would have waited to bring out my camera until we got to the summit of the mountain and photographed the landscape but this time I wanted to capture the experience of what it was like to get to the top. This image is of my cousin, Mona, my sister-in-law, Audrey, Andrew and another hiker who just happened to be standing at the right spot at the right time. For me, it perfectly describes what it’s like. Cautious getting to the top while climbing over big ass boulders with amazing views along the way. My favorite part of the image is Mona’s body position and the way she’s getting around the rocks.

I have many more images that I took while on this hike. I’ve already sprinked a few here and there and theres more to come. So let me know what you think of these. I’d love to know!

My camera settings for this image is F5.0 at 1/1000th of a second and ISO 400 with my Sony A7II and 28-70mm lens.

All photos available for print and licensing >

Since I blog every weekday and haven’t skipped a day since March 2010… or 2011? I don’t remember. But people are always asking me how I keep up with it. How do I have so many images to blog about? And I always have to laugh when people ask me about that.

  1. because I have soooo many pictures. Sometimes I think it’s too many. Sometimes I feel like I run out of time because I don’t get a chance to edit them all and I’ll forget about some images.
  2. I try my best to make the most out of each photo trip. Even if I’m going to the Lincoln Memorial, I’m constantly moving around and keeping my feet busy. I can’t think of anything worse than coming home with a memory card full of the same exact images. I’m always trying to find new angles and light on each trip. That way I have a lot of different options to consider when I get home. I’m lucky if I get one image I like, but for the most part I’ll come home with several.
  3. I keep a folder on my desktop that’s called “Haven’t blogged yet”. These are the images that I may have already edited for fun, edited to upload to my instagram, or for whatever reason just have completed but haven’t blogged about them yet. This makes it super easy for me to just sit down and pic an image to write about. Once they’ve been blogged, they are archived.

So for those of you wondering how I maintain my blog, I try to keep it as easy as possible. On a good week I like to keep 1 day just for blogging. That can be difficult sometimes when I have a busy schedule but my blog is definietly high on my priority list. I preschedule them so I don’t have to worry about it for the rest of the week and then the cycle continues the following week.

If you have any other questions about blogging or anything like that, please let me know. I’ll definietly try my best to help.

My camera settings for this image is F6.3 at 1/400th of a second at ISO 80 with my Sony A7II and 16-35mm wide angle lens.

PS more views like this this summer!!