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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.

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I know I’ve been talking about New Mexico a lot but I just loved it. It was my first time ever in the state, we spent most of our time on our road trip in New Mexico and overall, it’s just awesome. And top of that list was definietly, 100% White Sands National Monument.

It was a lot smaller of a park and a lot quieter of a place in general. I never felt like it was too crowded or impossible to take images without anybody in it. It was just so chill. I love this image in particular because it’s just so simple and what it’s really like being there. It reminds me of just walking along the sand – never too hot and relaxing in between your toes.  The best was being able to walk around the entire park without any shoes on.  I feel like every national park should be like that (or is that the asian side of me wanting to take my shoes off everywhere?). It was very much like walking along a beach with no ocean.

Besides the natural beauty of it, my favorite part of the park was the sledding! When we were first coming in to the park, there were these other two girls who were walking out. They offered us their snow sleds and without hesistation, we took them. Sliding down these dunes was so much fun. A lot better than I thought it would be. I felt like I was in elementary school again and it was our first snow day of the year. You can actually get a pretty good speed on these dunes if you find the right one.

This image was taken bright and early in the morning, right when the park opened. Don’t try to come for sunrise, you will be disappointed.

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So grateful that yesterday’s Independence Day fireworks were so awesome! The forecast had called for 40% rain showers but you would have never known it. The weather was perfect. It wasn’t too hot that it was unbearable to stand outside and sitting under a tree made for a nice breeze. Luckily the clouds weren’t so heavy and dark this time that the fireworks were really able to shine.

My friends Jim and Rosa joined Andrew and I in capturing the fireworks. We ended up at the US Capitol which I had never thought of shooting from before. It turned out awesome because they were having their own concert there and John Stamos (Uncle Jesse) was the host! I was singing and dancing up until the big show. Then while the fireworks were going off, they had even more performances going on. It was a little distracting because I didn’t know what to look at, the performance or the fireworks, but overall it was a blast!

At first I was a little disappointed with how many people were in front of us for the pictures. But taking a moment to really think about what I wanted the end product to look like, I think it worked to my favor. It’s a totally different view of the fireworks than I’ve ever captured before and I think it’s an accurate depiction of what it’s like shooting on July 4th in DC. Crowds of people, a big production, and everyone having a good time. I really like how you can see the fireworks in 4 different places in this image. Can you spot them all?

But lesson learned. If I ever shoot at the US Capitol again, go early. Same goes for all the Lincoln Memorial which I might try to go to next year. The angle from that memorial looks beautiful!

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Ya’ll know that I don’t shoot a lot of portraits. I love looking at them but I’m just more of an exploration person where I’d rather be out walking around and looking at stuff than to be tied down to just one subject. When I was first getting into photography, I was totally against having people in my landscapes. I just wanted the scenery to speak for itself but lately I’ve been changing my mind. Sometimes I think it’s cool to have people in your shots to show scale. Other times I think people make for some happy accidents and they really add to the image. In this particular case, I couldn’t help but capture this image. That’s my friend, Zack. While we were waiting for lightning (which never came), he made it appoint to show us the cool lighting that the Lincoln Memorial has to illuminate it at night. I’ve noticed it before, but never really ‘looked’ at it either. Then, in the middle of the rain, Zack jumped down to show us that it’s even cooler than what I thought it was. He’s crazy though. He stood there for a good 5 minutes while Dave and I shot him. My favorite part is the light coming from his jacket and the shadow casting onto the ground. You can tell it was a longer exposure by the car trails on the top passing by. By the end he was soaking wet. He’s crazy though because he could of at least put up the hood on his jacket. Of course, that wouldn’t of made for as cool of a shot as it is. He looks like a rain god. LOL

The camera settings for this image was F7.1 at 2 seconds with ISO 320. Thanks so much for standing so still while shooting this, Zack! I still think you’re crazy 🙂