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Super exciting announcement number 2! I have two images featured in this month’s issue of the Washingtonian. When I first start out in photography, it was always a dream of mine to see my images published in print. Somewhere that people that I didn’t even know would see it. And I always had the Washingtonian as the benchmark to the ultimate local magazine I’d like to be featured it. Although I have been in the magazine several times now, it’s still a complete honor to be featured and I’m always super excited to see it. It never gets old, espcially with the Washingtonian where every single layout and spread is just so beautiful. I’m so grateful to be working with them.

Not only that, the Ball for the Mall had a special advertisement in the April issue so it’s like I had 3 images in the magazine. So mind-blowing.

The image above is one of my all time favorite cherry blossom images I’ve ever taken. It so simple yet it took a lot of time to create. I’m not sure why. It was one of those that I had to sit on for a while to make sure it’s how I wanted it. For those wondering, the background color is just from the tidal basin water. It was probably a calm day when I captured this branch.

The image below is the second image to be featured in the Washingtonian. It’s taking up the top portion of the table of contents page 🙂 When I showed it to Andrew, he chuckled a little bit and said ‘so getting people in your shots can be interesting’. Which is funny that he said that because I usually try to avoid it. However, I’m starting to like it more and more now.

April 2018 Washingtonian, washington dc, publication, magazine, cherry blossoms, tidal basin, national mall, featured, ball for the mall, sunrise, photographers, people, jefferson memorial,

The settings for the individual cherry blossom branch is F7.1 at 1/13th of a second ISO 400 with my Sony A7II and 100mm lens. The image with the photographers is F6.3 at 1/80th of a second at ISO 160 with my Canon 5D Mark II and 24-105mm lens.

 

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Another one from Saturday morning’s amazing sunrise.

I was walking up the Lincoln Memorial steps when I just had to turn around and appreciate the morning light. It felt so good on my back that I wanted to see what it looked like and I saw this scene. My favorite part of it all is the light that is shining right down the middle of the image.  My eye keeps going to the huge shadow it created of the guy walking down the steps. It looks like the shadow is as tall as the Washington Monument!

I don’t usually put a lot of sunbursts in to my images, but I do shoot them a lot. Sometimes I feel like they can be a bit overwhelming and may take away from the image. In this particular one, I think it works well. I think it helps create the mood of the light shining down on the reflecting pool and everyone walking around it. I also think it’s interesting how the light effects the people depending on where they stand. The people who are closest to the reflecting pool look so teeny tiny, I love all the layers in this image.

On a side note, how about all that rain and snow we got? Please magnolias. Please stay warm and intact. I’m not so worried about the cherry blossoms. I think they’ll be fine. A similar weather situation happened last year where we got ice and freezing temperatures right before they were about to bloom and they were fine, for the most part. In some ways it was kind of better because it deterred a lot of people from visiting the Tidal Basin. All good with me! But I’m not so sure about how well the magnolias will do since they’ve already started blooming 🙁

The settings for this image is F22 at 1/20th of a second and ISO 250 with my Sony A7II and 16-35mm handheld.

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Speaking of Tokyo… 🙂 Looking at this image makes me want to go back! I would love to go to Japan again although next time I would want to spend less time in Tokyo and spend more time in other parts of the country like Hokkiaido. One day I was looking at pictures and saw this amazing one of rows and rows of flowers just lining the country side. Man it was beautiful. Japanese people really know how to do it big over there! Lol.

This particular image was taken on my vertigo tour with Eyexplore. I’m a huge fan of signing up for these kind of photo tours while visiting other places. You can’t beat a local photographer’s knowledge of their area. They know all the best spots to take images and when, plus you can ask them about other travel related questions like what’s your favorite kitkat flavor? You know, important questions. LOL.

PS, if you’re ever in the DC area and looking for something similar, let me know!

Roof topping is amazing, but I think it’s especially different in Tokyo. There are so many buildings crammed into this little space. It’s really unbelievable if you think about it. Imagine one person occupying each of those windows. That’s a whole lot of people! And all the buildings look so different. I don’t know I think it’s so cool just to slowly move my eye around the picture. Not one spot looks like the other!

PS about 10 more days til the Cherry Blossom predicted peak and I’m so excited! Thank you again, Japan!

The settings for this image is F4.0 at  .8 seconds and ISO 320 with my Sony A7II and 16-35mm wide angle lens. The A7II was particularly great at this time because it’s so good in low light situations and I was not able to use my tripod because a lot of the time it wouldn’t even fit on those tiny rooftops.

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An image that didn’t make the 2018 Dynamic DC Wall Calendar cut.

I love this image. I think it sets such a nice tone for the cherry blossoms, but I wasn’t sure if you all would want to be staring at a lady’s back for 31 days. So it didn’t make the cut. LOL

I think my favorite part of the image is the little reflection you see on the bottom right hand corner. It’s definietly obvious that it’s there, but the reflection is so subtle that I don’t know if you really think about it. I like how it gives the vibe that she’s being surrounded by cherry blossoms.

To be honest, I don’t even know how this lady is. She was just there with another photographer and they were having a cherry blossom photoshoot. Totally normal if you’re ever at the Tidal Basin during cherry blossom season. I usually try to stay out of the way and I was in the middle of walking around them when I saw the scene from behind. Now, I don’t know how this lady’s photographer’s image turned out, but I’m really happy with mine. But even if she walked right past me, I would not even be able to recognize her. I completely forgot what she looked like from the front. She will now forever be called ‘Cherry Blossom lady’ to me. HAHA. But if I did find out who she was, I’d totally gift her with this print.

The settings for this image is 1/100th of a second at F/8 and ISO 160 with my 100mm macro lens. See, you can go beyond just macro images with that lens however I’m not sure why I did that. I was probably busy shooting the flowers and just happened to have that lens on my camera.

Now that I think about it, this whole image sounds like one happy accident 🙂

 

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First of all, I just wanted to say thank you sooooooo much to everyone who commented, left messages or called me yesterday. You all really know how to make me feel special. I had the best day with Andrew yesterday in New York. If you follow me on instagram, you may have seen a little bit of it on my stories. So thank you, thank you, thank you. I am just so happy right now.

And to completely flip the script, remember when this was like the worst day ever?! This past winter was so nice and mild. I really thought we were going to get away with no snow at all. But March hit, all the flowers started budding/blooming and BAMN winter snow storm Stella. I’m still shaking my head as I’m writing this.

Man, I was so worried that this snow storm was going to effect the cherry blossoms. I mean look at them in this picture! Don’t they look so sad and cold. I’d never seen anything like it at the Tidal Basin. But as my friend, Bob Marley would say “Don’t worry about a thing, cuz every little thing is going to be all right”. And it did! It ended up being the best cherry blossom season I had experienced! The weather was absolutely perfect after the storm went away and a lot more of the cherry blossoms survived than expected. And don’t get me started on that one day we had fog! Holy Crap! The best part was that since a lot of people thought the cherry blossoms weren’t going to make it, the tidal basin was definietly not as crowded. It was just so freeing! Ahh I’m so happy just thinking about it.

And I’m happy that it was my birthday.

I’m just happy all around. Thank you again! <3

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It’s pretty rare to be able to get an image like this. I think it’s only possible at sunrise. With the glow of the morning peaking through the entrance and hardly anyone there, I feel lucky to live in the DC area and be able to do things like this.

In the image is my friend, Del. I met her and her husband, Matt a couple of years ago in San Francisco. We stayed in touch through social media so it was awesome when they sent me a message letting me know that they were going to be in town. We met up at sunrise in front of the reflecting pool and spent the next hour walking around the different memorials. I knew I had to take them inside the Lincoln Memorial. What other time do you get to have time alone with a President? Any other time of the day, this memorial is PACKED.

I also love how she adds scale to President Lincoln. If you’ve been following my blog for a while, you may have noticed something new I’ve been doing. I’ve been intentionally trying to add people into my images. Trying to break out of my comfort zone and trying new compositions. Most of the time the people look small, sometimes I put myself in the images, but nevertheless, it’s something that I’ve been really liking lately. It adds scale but also a human element that makes you feel like you’re in the picture with that person. Don’t worry though, I will still shoot “the silent landscapes” too. It’s just so hard to compare the two.

The exposure settings for this image is f/5.0 at 0.3 seconds at ISO 320 shot on a tripod. Luckily, Del was standing still long enough so that everything in the image is sharp.