photography

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I’m happy to report that the Magnolia trees have been saved! The snow that we had last week didn’t seem to phase them much. I captured this image Friday morning behind the Smithsonian Castle at the Enid A Haupt Garden. I arrived a little bit after sunrise so I could get that beautiful early morning glow happening on the flowers. It was like walking in paradise. The birds were chirping, the wind was soft but nothing beats that early morning light.

In order to capture this image, I had to be patient. For some reason there were not a lot of people walking by or in the gardens. I stood there for a good 10 minutes before I even saw anyone else but I already had this vision in my head so I had to wait. There I was, standing in the trees looking like a flower monkey. LOL. Standing with my camera close to my face. I left my ear phones at home so I was blasting music by Drake from my phone in my pocket. This guy must have liked Drake too because he crept up behind me and scared the living sh*t out of me. I turned around and gave him a half smile and half ‘what are you doing?’ face. He just smiled back and went on his way shooting.

Obviously I had to stare him down for a little bit. LOL. And then I saw him walking to the the spot that I was waiting for someone to walk past. So I took advantage of the opportunity and finally captured the image I was looking for. Thank you fellow photographer so being so still.

My camera settings for this image is F10 at 1/125th of a second at ISO 320 with my Sony A7II and 16-35mm wide angle lens handheld.

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From what I heard last week, today has been the day I’ve been waiting for all winter. If all goes well and all the wind and cold air that we had over the weekend didn’t effect anything then the Magnolias will start to peak today. Cash me ousside.

My favorite Magnolia trees are the ones at the Enid A Haupt Garden behind the Smithsonian Castle on the National Mall, but you can really find them all over the city. This image was taken at the George Mason Memorial facing the Washington Monument adjacent to the Tidal Basin. To be honest, spring time is really the only time that I spend time at this memorial. It’s a pretty small memorial compared to the others but the landscaping around it is fantastic. Its a great place to just sit on the bench and listen to the birds chirp.

So I’m really looking forward to spending more time here as spring goes on. Actually, that’s an understatement. I think the word really is anxious. I’m really anxious to spend more outside in general. I still have the list I created last year of all the places that I want to photograph. Like spending more time at Dumberton Oaks, the National Arboretum, Enid A Haupt Garden, so many! OMG I can’t wait. So see ya later cold weather. Time to go. Make way for the cherry blossoms. What’s up with March being so cold? 

My camera settings for this image is F9 at 1/60th of a second and ISO 200 with my Sony A7II and 28-70mm lens handheld.

All photos available for print and licensing >

So it’s been one week since I decided to delete instagram off my phone. To be honest, I never expected all the kind comments and emails. I appreciate it sooo so much. You have no idea. Everyone has been extra supportive but I have decided that Ill download Instagram again for the Cherry Blossoms at the latest. Don’t get me wrong though out of the 7 sunrises that have happened since my instabreak, I’ve gone out to shoot 4 times. So even though I’m not documenting it all on social media, I’m still at it as much as I can.

What have I learned from the break? I spend entirely too much time staring at my phone! I don’t need to catch up with my friends by seeing what they’re doing on the internet. I can simply call them or text them and find out what’s been going on straight from the horse’s mouth and its so much better that way. I’ve also learned to be more present. At times I’ll be walking around and think to myself, what should my next instastory be? or this would be great for an instastory. This past weekend while I was walking around I thought, wow that tree is beautiful, I’m just going to take a picture of it because I like it. No one else has to see it, but me.

Now I’m not sure if this has any correlation or not, but I’m also taking the time to learn more too. I’ve been consuming so many youtube videos, listening to audiobooks and just reading in general. I’ve been learning a lot about mindset, wealth and photoshop tutorials. It’s been great!

Overall, I am so grateful for the break. It was definietly a recharge and I feel more inspired than ever. I do miss instagram and I’ll be honest, I have checked it out once or twice on my desktop computer which I justified by saying, it’s not really the same LOL. So this is just a thank you so much for all your support. I’ll be back soon and probably by the end of the week! As of now, I’m not in a rush. Instagram will always be there 🙂

PS that tree I was talking about was a cherry blossom tree in Alexandria, VA. They’re starting to pop up in different places and I’m so excited!

My camera settings for this image is F8 at 1/8th of a second at ISO 500 with my Sony A7II and 16-35mm wide angle len handheld.

All photos available for print and licensing >

I deleted Instagram off my phone on Tuesday night.

It may not seem like a big deal to some, but for me it was. I’m going to be open and honest here because I just got done talking about this with my friend, Alejandra and I felt inspired to share the story…

I woke up Tuesday morning at 6a. Not an unusual time for me to wake up if I’m not shooting the sunrise. Usually I’d wake up around 4:30-5 if I were. So 6am is kinda like I’m sleeping in. Just like everyone else, one of the first things I do when I’m fully awake is go on my phone and check out what’s been going on social media. One of the first things I see is that there was this amazingly beautiful sunrise, pinks, purples, the whole 9 that morning. I took a look out my bedroom window (which is facing west) and noticed that the sky was so pink. From my experience I know that if the sky facing west is pink then it had to be an amazing sunrise. I immediately felt upset. I missed out on an opportunity to capture one of my favorite things in the whole world, a colorful sky.

So that’s how I started off my day. I spent the rest of the morning thinking about where I would have gone if I went out to take pictures, what my composition what have been like, etc etc etc. Basically just beating myself up about missing the sunrise. But I felt like there had to be underlying reason why I was upset. I was upset because I knew that my most popular images on Instagram are the ones with skies just like the one I had slept through. They are the ones with the most beautiful sunrises with a memorial or something iconic in the foreground and I had missed out. This winter has been so grey and foggy that I couldn’t believe I stayed in bed for this one! I was missing out on the likes. I was missing out on new followers. I was missing out on other people’s confirmations that they like me as an artist and in turn them liking me as a person.

How freaking crazy is that?

So obviously one thought lead to another and I ended up having a really hard mental day. Everything was getting on my nervous. I started getting really antsy and impatient about some projects that I’m working on and why it’s not all complete. Even though nothing had really changed as far as the progression, I just expect things to come sooner, better, and I could not get over it.

I realized at the end of the day I was putting so much pressure on myself to be perfect, to create the type of images I was expected to, and to get as many ‘likes’ as I possibly could. What’s crazy is that I even have this magical number in my head that if I don’t hit it within the first hour of my posting, then it’s not a good image. I just couldn’t deal with it anymore and decided to delete instagram from my phone and take a little “instabreak”. I don’t know how long it’s going to last but I already feel like some pressure has been taken off.

As an artist, I shouldn’t be so concerned with what other people think of my work. I should be concerned if I like the work. I should worry about if the image I created is a true representation of who I am as an artist and if it conveys the thoughts or emotions that I want said.

I don’t know. Those are just my quick thoughts about being an artist on social media now. Please let me know if I’m not the only crazy and if you feel the same way as well. I’ll be back on instagram eventually. Probably within the next week because I still love it for artistic inspiration and I’ve made some amazing friends from the app. I just need to take a little bit of time for myself. I’ll still be out there taking pics even if I’m not posting on instagram… I’ll be posting them on twitter now instead. LOL. FOLLOW ME ON TWITTER!!! I took this one this morning at the Iwo Jima Memorial 🙂 JK I love taking pictures and sharing them with everyone. I just felt like I was putting too much pressure on myself and don’t feel the same pressure from facebook, twitter, etc…

Other thoughts that passed through my head yesterday were not being my true self on the internet vs. real life and the need for everything to be perfect in my images before posting them. If you’re interested, let me know and I can write another long ass blog post about those topics and hopefully start a discussion.

And for those who are only here for my camera settings they are F10 at 20 seconds ISO 160 on my Sony A7II and 16-35mm wide angle lens.

All photos available for print and licensing >

I took this image almost a year ago during Cherry Blossom season on that one crazy foggy morning we had. If you look closely enough, you can make out the cherry blossom trees in the background. But my focus for this image were on the birds that were flying in the foreground.

I know there has to be quite a few fish swimming around in the Tidal Basin. It’s not uncommon to see a couple of people out there fishing in the mornings, once in a while you’ll hear a random splash in the water and there’s always birds circling. 3 indications that in fact, there are fish in the tidal basin. So there are usually always a fair amount of birds that are on the water fishing. (What’s even cooler is when you can capture them all flying away together.) I thought it would be interesting to see if I could get a cool image of the birds and the fog, so for a good 10 minutes my focus went from photographing the flowers to the birds.

Then this one guy started flapping his wings like he was about to take off. Bird photography isn’t always my thing so I just took a few snap shots and kept it moving. It wasn’t until I got home and could view this image large on the computer screen that I noticed all the cool ripples it was creating. I also really like the reflection within those ripples. Overall I am just really happy with the way this turned out. I think it’s a pretty cool portrait of the scary flying creature about to take off.

And if you don’t know, I’m not a huge fan of birds. 

My settings for this image is F6.3 at 1/125the of a second at ISO 200 with my Sony A7II and 28-70mm lens.

All photos available for print and licensing >

Hi my name is Angela and I’m palm tree obsessed.

Every time I step out of our airbnb, I see them and can’t stop smiling. I love looking up and just knowing that today is a good day. My favorite is seeing them in rows like this. I think it is so cool. I don’t know why. Its just something I’m totally not used to seeing on the east coast.

So earlier this week, Andrew, Frankie and I were at Ocean Beach around sunset and just walking around scouting the place for cool photo opportunities. As we were walking along the beach, I saw this row of palm trees. I knew I had to come back at sunrise to try to capture it with some color in the sky. Luckily, the very next day at sunrise my vision came true! It was surprising to actually see color in the sky since it’s been so foggy since we arrived. Foggy, but still very nice temperatures 🙂

The other good thing about going at sunrise is that there are not as many cars around so I could stand in the middle of the road and not bother as many people as I would if I were shooting at sunset. It was funny though. About 20 minute minutes after I took this image, a man walked up to me and said “were you the one who was standing in the middle of the street?”. I laughed and said yes. Luckily he just wanted to tell me about some other photo opportunities other than standing in the middle of the street. Man, people here in San Diego are so nice!

My camera settings for this image is F18 at 1.3 seconds and ISO 250 with my Sony A7II and 16-35mm wide angle lens shot on my gitzo tripod.