pink

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Lately I’ve been getting more and more dm’s on instagram asking me about the camera lenses I use. To be honest, I don’t have very many. But I have plans of adding to my collection soon.

But if you’re at all interested in knowing, I have listed all my sony lenses and even my canon lens gear here. *If you didn’t know I used to shoot canon before I switched to sony about 3 or 4 years ago. So if you’re a canon shooter, check out this link. My friend, Andy asked me about my old canon wide angle lens and compared them to other canon wide angle lenses. Pretty interesting how he laid it all out.

For this image, I used my 16-35mm zeiss wide angle lens. It was the only way I would have been able to capture this entire scene in just one frame. I love the way the cherry blossom tree branch is reaching towards the bench and then spikes all the way up. It’s like the craziest 90 degree angle in nature I’ve ever seen. But I also love how that first branch is just arching right above, framing the bench so nicely. I’m sure I’ve walked passed this scene a million times but I’m so glad I saw it during cherry blossom season. The fluffy pink flowers just fills the scene so much more and adds a lot of color to an otherwise dark image.

My camera settings for this image is F5.6 at 1.3 seconds at ISO 800 shot with my Sony A7II. I don’t remember if I captured this with my tripod or not but I’m assuming it’s handheld. Otherwise the ISO would not be that high but to be honest, if it was handheld, I’m surprised I was able to hold my camera steady for 1.3 seconds.

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I took this image at the same time I captured this one. Except at this time I did not know my batteries were dying. I was too busy enjoying the beautiful light that was peaking through the Japanese cherry blossom trees and kept on shooting and shooting away.

This whole cherry blossom season has been very cloudy. I think there may have been just 1 or 2 days that I was out that we actually had some sun out of the 2 weeks that they were here. So I was super excited to see the blossoms glowing.

You can’t tell, but I was standing next to my friend, Jarrett while capturing it. He’s the kind of friend that we never make plans to see each other but we always run into each other while taking pics. I always enjoy running into him, especially around the tidal basin because we have so much in common. He’s the type of person that you can say anything to him and he’ll have a funny story to tell you about that. So if you ever run in to Jarrett while taking pics, just ask him if he likes fried chicken. LOL.

So now that the cherry blossom season is pretty much done for this year, I some how forgot to mention this everywhere but on my newsletter that I updated my cherry blossom guide. LOL. I was in the shower the other day and realized I hadn’t put it on social media or anything! It was definietly a doh moment! So better late than never? At least you can use these tips for next year? Sorry about that. Here’s the link if you still have any interest.

My camera settings for this image is F8 at 1/160th of a second at ISO 400 with my Sony A7II and 28-70mm lens handheld.

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I saw the lady in Japanese pink komono. She was walking around with this weird looking umbrella and it immediately got my attention. I mean there is no way that umbrella can protect you from rain, sun or anything. It’s really just there for decoration right? What is she going doing with that? Then I noticed the man following behind her and it all made sense. So between the cherry blossom tree trunk I was watching (stalking) this group of people as they walked towards the Japanese Pagoda.

I usually like to mind my own business, especially when it comes to other people and their photoshoots but there was something about this one that I couldn’t ignore. Maybe it was the weird umbrella but it could have also been the perfect light and environment for this photoshoot. I mean how could you go wrong with such a pretty outfit during peak bloom of the cherry blossoms at sunrise? It was something I could not pass up.

My favorite part about this image is the out of focus cherry blossom branch right in the front of the image. I think it just creates so much more depth to the image that would have been difficult to communicate if it were in focus. I don’t know why but I love looking at that one branch. My second favorite part of this image is the photographer in the mid-squat. LOL. I know I’m guilty of this stance. Sometimes you just need to get a little bit lower to get the shot and he is doing it perfectly. LOL. I would love to see how that image turned out but I probably never will.

My camera settings for this image is F5.0 at 1/100th of a second at ISO 400 with my Sony A7II and 16-35mm wide angle lens.

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I hope you don’t mind but there are going to be a lot of flowers on my blog from now til about June. LOL. The cherry blossoms are starting to look real nice around the city and I’m really looking forward to getting out there and shooting them. For now, I’m enjoying all the other flowers that are popping up. These flowers are actually the same ones as the ones I captured in the snow. Turns out they weren’t cherry blossoms after all. LOL they look so different covered in all that cold white stuff.

As I was out shooting this, I was thinking to myself how nice and peaceful it was. It’s probably because I was just doing what I love, with my ear phones in listening to my favorite music and just enjoying the early morning air. There weren’t a lot of people around so I felt so free to try different compositions and ideas with my images. Thats when it came to me. I have a new goal for this year’s cherry blossom season. I want to capture the cherry blossoms in other places around the city other than the Tidal Basin. Don’t get me wrong though. I’ll still be down by the water and monuments, I just want to spend that extra time in other places too.

If you have not seen this already, the US Capitol came out with a map showing exactly where cherry blossoms are blossoming around the grounds. It inspired me to further research other places. I have a couple in mind already but if you know of any other places where there’s some good cherry blossoms, please let me know!

My camera settings for this image is F9 at 1/8th of a second and ISO 500 with my Sony A7II 28-70mm lens.

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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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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.