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I am coming back home this weekend from Bar Harbor, Maine and can’t wait to share these pics with you all! We were up at sunrise, shooting at sunset and even took some night shots! If you’ve been following me on instagram this week, then you would have already known this from my stories. This week has flown by and I’ve been having a blast capturing it all. And let’s not get started with all the lobster I ate. So there it is, that was my official announcement so that the leaves back home can start changing colors. I’ll be back soon and can’t wait to shoot even more fall colors!

Oh and I have also been testing out these circular polarizers while in Maine. I purchased from two different brands on Amazon before I left. One is a slightly more expensive brand name and the other is not. The real test is when I bring them on the computer to see if I can see a difference. If you’re interested, I can create a blog post or a youtube video about them. Just let me know!

This image was taken about this time two years ago at Constitution Gardens in the National Mall. It was not a foggy day, but it was cloudy and dark. I feel like the sky made for a perfect setting for this moody image. One of my favorite things about Constitution Gardens is that its never packed. As a matter of fact, I’m usually the only one there. It’s so perfect! I can blast music from my phone with no ear phones on and no one would even know. So if you hear some reggaeton at 6 in the morning, you know who it is! ūüėČ

My camera settings for this image is 1/25th of a second, F8 at ISO 160 on my Sony A7II 16-35mm wide angle.

 

 

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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 ūüôā

 

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If you’re in the DC area, its definietly worth checking out Kenilworth Park and Aquatic Gardens in the summer time. It’s absolutely beautiful. There has to be hundreds of these pink lotus flowers in the ponds and the whole area is just filled with them. A photographer and nature lover’s dream. Although, I think the¬†flowers may be all done for this year’s season. There’s always next year!

But the¬†gardens are only open during certain hours and those hours are not at sunrise or sunset (the ideal time to shoot). It’s in the middle of the day, which is usually difficult to shoot. Most of the time, I’d try to find flowers that were blooming under some tree shade or something like that. This one was not. So I had to use my photoshop skills to really emphasize the mood I was feeling. I wanted all the concentration to be on the flower, to be in the spotlight. So I purposely made the surrounding areas darker than they are straight out of the camera. I also used luminosity masks to brighten the flower up a little more. Just doing those two alone really made the image pop a lot more and created some great contrast.

If you’re interested in learning more about my photoshop techniques, check out these video tutorials I created. This one is about luminosity masks. This one is about my complete¬†photoshop workflow.¬†Even if I’m not editing this particular image in the video tutorials, the same rules and principles apply. I will have to say that these videos are for those who are already comfortable with photoshop. You already have some basic skills and you just wanted to up your skill set a little more or just watch someone else’s workflow. If you had any questions or video suggestions, don’t be afraid to let me know!

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Man o Man was Arizona hot! That’s what you get when you drive through a heat wave. I think the hottest we experienced was 115 degrees fahrenheit. Luckily, we were just in Tucson. I heard the heat was so hot that it was melting mailboxes in Phoenix! That’s pretty crazy if you ask me. We pretty much arrived in Tucson, went straight for the hotel pool, got out just in time for dinner in air conditioning and sunset in Saguaro National Park. The next morning we woke up and left Arizona, ASAP.

I didn’t expect too much from the park. I like to keep my expectations low so I don’t disappoint myself but it was way better than I had imagined! These Saguaro cactuses were huge. Way taller than me. So much fun to drive through and point at. If you’re planning on visiting anytime soon, I suggest starting out on the east end of the park where they have a paved road to drive through an 8 mile loop. There are a lot of pull over points where you can just stop and enjoy the views.

From a photographer’s standpoint I had a blast in this park but found it a little difficult to shoot. First of all, there are SO MANY saguaros. To single anyone of them out was difficult. Especially since there are so many cactuses around. They all sort of blended in with their surroundings if you wanted to shoot wide angle. So the way that I did it was to use a foreground element to sort of frame a really cool looking saguaro. I think if I had more time there, I’d also try to use the evening or early morning light to try to highlight the outline of the cactuses. I think that’d be pretty cool. Oh well, next time. Hopefully it won’t be as hot that time.

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Walking around, I spotted this guy and I had to take a pic. Not only was the light perfect on him but he reminded me of Daryl from Walking Dead. But only if he was a photographer and not a walker slayer. What do you think?

At around sunset, Andrew and I found ourselves at the Big Chief Overlook. If you’re planning on¬†visiting Dead Horse Point State Park in Moab, Utah, I’d highly recommend starting here. It’s at the very tipty top of the park but it’s great because you get these amazing PAN-oramic views of both sides of the park. The best was that I was able to follow the sunlight wherever it was going as it was setting. It can get crowded with people up there, but the ability to walk around the corner was amazing. I got so many cool shots from up there. ¬†And how beautiful are these rocks against the falling sunlight? They were literally glowing.

Andrew and I spent a lot of time up there. We actually stayed up there way past sunset. Almost to the point where we could start seeing stars out. Not talking or anything, just enjoying the view. At one point, I told him to take some pics with his phone, so he took this one.

Pretty cool, huh? And all with no photo instruction from me. LOL. We joke that he’s this amazing photographer when in fact most of the pics he takes either has a finger in the corner or they’re really blurry. If you’ve seen some of his other iPhone pics, this one is definietly a major achievement. Seriously.

My settings for this image was F11 at 1/160th of a second. Super fast shutter speed to capture this beautiful moment. So glad I got to spend it with Andrew AND Daryl.