photography

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Not to say that I like one better than the other, but another favorite place to shoot fall colors is Shenandoah National Park. Just driving along sky line drive is so peaceful and relaxing. I never have a plan of what I’m going to shoot, I just go. And each time I go is so different.

What’s crazy is that I shot this in 2011! Lately I’ve been going through some older photos. Like way back. And I still remember shooting this. This particular morning was foggy. You know me and how excited I get with fog. But you can’t even tell that the leaves are changing or anything. I just love how the fog washed away all the details and all you see are blurred lines. It sort of reminds me of an abstract painting with an influence of Mark Rothko. The small hint of purple and pink in the middle of the image really draws my attention.

My camera settings for this image was F/18 at 1/20th of a second ISO 125 on my Canon 5D Mark II.

On a side note, I still get quite a few questions about my 5D Mark II. They’re mostly if I still use it and the answer is not really. The only time I really use it may be shooting fireworks. I just trust the camera remote on the 5D Mark II way more than the one on the Sony A7II. I feel like in that “high pressure” situation, (high pressure meaning, I can’t easily re-do it) I’d rather use that camera. Otherwise, it’s straight Sony equipment for me. I still have my Canon body and lenses sitting on the shelf. I may sell it in the future, but I’m not sure. We just have so many memories together that I don’t know if I’d want to give that away.

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Do you have Amazon Prime? If you do, you definietly have to check out Shorebreak: The Clark Little Story. It was so inspiring.

First of all, I didn’t even know Clark Little had a amazon prime movie out so I was surprised to see it being suggested. Second of all, I’ve never heard Clark Little talk before. It was so fun to hear his Hawaiian accent. And then I had no idea what he was saying when he was talking to other locals in the film. HAHA so cool!

Last but not least, man those shorebreaks are REDONKULOUS! Yes, I’ve been following his work for years but seeing on video of what he has to go through to capture those images takes it to a whole new level. I remember when I first saw his photography, I was so blown away that I couldn’t stop looking at his work all night. I googled everything I could about Clark Little and was just so impressed from the very beginning. If you remember this youtube video I created, I mentioned how he inspired me. But seeing it from his point of view or even seeing it from above with all the drone footage, man I don’t even know. The whole movie was just so inspiring and beautiful. Even if you don’t like photography that much and you have an appreciate for just nature or anything beautiful, you have to watch it. Watch it, then come back to this blog post and tell me how much you loved it because I know you will!

So this image is not of the north shore where Clark takes his photos. It’s in Kauai. When we visited Oahu a couple of years ago, we were there during a surf competition. We tried to go but the beach was so packed and hardly any parking so we skipped it. But after watching that amazon prime movie, it makes me want to go back. Like now.

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Soon after this image was taken, this lady got yelled at for letting her dog go into the water. LOL! Aw man!

It was literally picture perfect. This girl was just relaxin’, having a great time with her dog and that awesome hat she was wearing. The dog was having a blast swimming into the middle of the water and fetching the stick. The snow capped mountains, beautiful weather, both of them were loving life. It was seriously like a scene straight out of a movie. But after getting yelled at, the park service woman told them about another body of water that was close by that dogs were allowed to swim in – so it was all good by the end of the day 🙂

But looking at this image, it still gives me that calm/relaxing feeling that I never want to end. Next time I visit Colorado, I definietly want to make sure we spend more time in Aspen. It looked like such a cute little town with beautiful scenery. Best part is that Maroon Bells is just 15 minutes away from the town. I’d love to capture it at sunrise or sunset. That would make me so happy.

A big shout out to photography for teaching me to love the outdoors.  I don’t think I would have been able to appreciate it as much as I do now if it weren’t for photo. It has allowed me to go to places I would have never imagined and meet some amazing people along the way. Some of my most precious memories have been from exploring the outdoors and trying to capture its beauty.

My camera settings for this image is F16 at 1/400th of a second ISO 200. I pulled out my 16-35mm wide angle to make sure I captured the entire scene.

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I’m currently in the middle of reading 5 books. This has never happened before. I’m more of the finish a book before you start another one type of person, but I’m super into all of these books. And the funniest part of it all is that I’ve never really read photography books either. The last time I read one must have been when I was in college or something taking photography as an elective. It’s funny because half of these books are about photo.

So if you want to get your summer reading on, check these books out:

  1. Ansel Adams: An Autobiography. More than anything, this book just makes me want to backpack around Yosemite for a year. However, this book starts from his early childhood and it’s super interesting how he has developed his creativity throughout his adult life.
  2. Extraordinary Everyday Photography: Awaken Your Vision to Create Stunning Images Wherever You Are.  All about finding unique compositions where you live. Seeing new things out of the mundane.
  3. The Business Idea Factory: A World-Class System for Creating Successful Business Ideas. If you ever feel like you’re in a rut, check out this book. Andrew originally recommended it to me and this may be my favorite out of the ones on this list.
  4. Real Artists Don’t Starve: Timeless Strategies for Thriving in the New Creative Age.  It’s a really easy read with some inspiring stories of creatives from around the world. So far, my favorite part is about how the author, John Grisham and how he made his mark with ‘legal thrillers’.
  5. And I’m still waiting to finish listening to Kevin Hart’s I Can’t Make This Up: Life Lessons. I started listening to it on our cross country road trip and I can’t wait to find out what happens 🙂

If you haven’t noticed, the books I like are self help, autobiography, non-fiction type books. LOL. Let me know if you’ve read any of these book or if you pick any of them up. What do you think, should we start a book club or something? I think that’d be so fun!

PS. the image is from sunset at White Sands National Monument <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.