photography

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I don’t even remember the last time I’ve visited the US Botanic Garden. I know it has to have been at least a couple years and the last couple times I was there, it was purely for the orchid exhibit. I did not go anywhere else or really explore the grounds.

Well last week I had a former photography student and now friend come visit from Sweden. He planned a trip to go to NYC and in the middle of his trip, decided to come down to Washington to see me and another friend he has living in this area, Andrés. It was so great to catch up with Patriq. We talked about everything from photography, American food to Ikea. PS in case you were wondering, swedish fish aren’t really from Sweden.

We met up around the US Capitol and then decided to poke our heads into the US Botanic Garden. For some reason, I had never been in this room and it seems like it’s the main room you go in as soon as you walk into the building. It’s breathtaking with all the plants and vegetation. My favorite part was the ability to walk up the stairs and get a high level view of the room. I found this spot but knew there had to be someone in it to make it complete. I just love the play in perspective with the huge leaf in the foreground and the little Patriq in the background. We were only in the garden for a little bit before we went to our next stop but I can’t wait to go back again. This place has so many great photo opportunities just waiting to happen!

The camera settings for this image is F10 at 1/80th of a second and ISO 400 with my Sony A7II and 16-35mm wide angle lens.

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There’s always room for firsts and I had my first podcast experience a few weeks ago. Thanks so much to Jason Flakes and Mary Bailey for having me on PhotoStank. I had so much talking about photography, Snap DC and so much more. To be honest, I didn’t want the conversation to end. I was having so much fun. If you’re interested, click here to listen to the episode.

And if you have time, check out the episode’s challenge. I think it’s an interesting one. Use the hashtag #photostankchallenge so I can be sure to see what you have come up with.

Today’s image was taken a couple of weekends ago in Lake Anna, Virginia. It had just stopped raining and was still a bit too cold to go out on the boat for some water fun so I thought it was the perfect opportunity to fly the drone! I love practicing flying as much as I can. I’m still a bit nervous at it but I know the more flying time I get, the better it will be.This birds eye view of the world is such an interesting perspective. And my favorite part of this image is the way that you can see the reflections of the clouds in the water. The trees weren’t looking too bad after the rain either 🙂 I think I’ll be flying my drone a lot more often in the summer. Sunflower fields here I come!

Speaking of flying, my friend Andy just came out with a video about flying drones. If you have one, you should definietly check out this video. I learned so much! Just wish it came out before the trip to Lake Anna so I could have applied some new knowledge I learned.

My camera settings for this image is F2.2 at 1/220th of a second and ISO 100 on my DJI Mavic Pro.

 

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Last weekend was another adventure weekend. This time was at Lake Anna, Virginia. For the past 3 years, my family has rented a lake house and we would have tons of fun in the water. This past weekend was my first attempt at wake surfing and I had a blast! Mostly because I shocked myself and got up on my very first try. I know I had to have been standing for at least a minute. It was funny because I had spent so much time worrying about how I would get up that once I was up I had no idea what to do next. There is a video of it, but in true Andrew fashion, there’s a finger in the corner of the video!!! I mean, how does that even happen? I swear he must do it on purpose… Anyways I was able to go a few more times and I got better and better at it. Luckily there are no fingers in those videos.

This image is of my friend, Nando. He’s way better at wake surfing, snowboarding and all those kind of things than I am. It was fun to photograph this though. I never thought about the cool angles you could get from the back of the boat. It makes me want to go back again just so I can photograph more surf. This image was taken about 10 minutes before it started thunder storming. Man I wish that rain held off because it rained for the rest of our trip. I would have loved to fly the drone during these wake surfing sessions. I was able to get a little bit of fly time from land, but the boat would have been awesome. Next time, Lake Anna!

My camera settings for this image is F5.0 at 1/320th of a second at ISO 250 with my Sony A7II and 28-70mm lens.

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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!!

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I found the biggest difference between photographing the US Capitol and the other memorials like Lincoln Memorial or Jefferson Memorial during lightning was the fact that there was no real place to hide from the rain. At least when you visit the Lincoln Memorial and Jefferson Memorial, you are able to hide under a bit of shelter and still be able to create images. At the US Capitol there is nothing like that so you’re basically out in the open, hoping your camera gear doesn’t get soaked.

That was the case for this image. I actually had a huge rain droplet in the middle of my lens and didn’t even notice until a couple of frames after this image. Its ok though because I cropped the image to the most interesting part of the image anyways. I’m just glad I caught it when I did. Every time the lighting would strike, it turned the skies crazy purple. I love how the relationship between the lightning and the US Capitol dome. The lighting bolt is twisting and turning in all kinds of ways when the US Capitol is so straight and architectural. I think my favorite part of the image is the fact that the lights are still on in the dome. It some how gives it even more life.

I’m really looking forward to photographing more lightning this summer, especially since sunrise is so early now, I’ve noticed that I’ve been shooting a lot more sunsets and night images than sunrises. LOL. I woke up yesterday to capture the sunrise and it was totally washed out with rain. I should have just stayed in bed…

My camera settings for this image is F4 at 1/15th of a second at ISO 400 with my Sony A7II and 16-35mm wide angle lens on a tripod.

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I know it’s not obvious in this picture but I am loving life right here! LOL.

It’s true. The skies were moody and cloudy, I’m in my favorite place in the whole wide world and I have my airpods in listening to an audible book. What could be better?

Maybe a tripod… but meh.

I like the perspective though. It was another one of those, put your backpack down and hope that the image comes out well. At first I envisioned the dandelions to be as tall as the Washington Monument. When that didn’t work out, I just set my timer to see what it would look like if there was a human element in it. I liked it! So I started posing as if I didn’t know I was taking my own picture. LOL.

I remember I took this on a Sunday evening. I knew the sunset wasn’t going to be great, color wise, but I just wanted to get out there and go for a walk with my camera. It could have been the 4 slices of pizza I ate prior to the photowalk, but it was just so nice to be out in fresh air and doing what I love doing.

And PS Thank you Thank you Thank you to everyone who has ordered Snap DC so far. I am LOVING all the pictures you’re sending and all the feedback. You seriously made my whole year already. I don’t know how long this is going to last for but Amazon actually dropped the price of the book. I had no idea that they were going to do that so the original price was $29.69 and now its on sale for $24.78. So if you haven’t already, I’d get your copy of the guide now.

My camera settings for this image is F6.3 at 1/320th of a second and ISO 400 with my Sony A7II and 16-35mm wide angle lens.