reflecting pool

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If you’ve signed up for my newsletter then you already know, but I have a super exciting announcement to make. I am this year’s Ball for the Mall’s official photographer! AHHHHH!!!!!!!!

I am so thrilled and so grateful. If you don’t know what the Ball for the Mall is, it’s a fundraising event that the Trust for the National Mall puts on every year to raise money for the National Mall. This year the tent is going up right in front of the Smithsonian museums. Being the official photographer does not mean I’m photographing the event. It just means that the Trust for the National Mall is featuring my images on all their materials for the event like the invitation, save the dates, etc. I’m honored to be helping with such a beautiful cause that’s so close to my heart. I’ve spent so much time at the Mall and it’s given me so much. I’m grateful to be able to give back. Plus I heard there’s going to be some super cool people like Wolf Blitzer emceeing the event. I am going to try to take a selfie!

I’ve never been before and I’m really looking forward to attending the event with Andrew later on this month. Now, to go ball gown shopping. AHHH!!!! 🙂 I don’t know if you can tell, but I’m so excited.

This image was taken on morning on a super cold winter morning at the National Mall (obviously). I love it because the sky reminds of tie-dye. I mean when you see a scene like this, how could you not fall in love with our national parks?

The settings for this image is F9 at 1/10th of a second at ISO 200 with my Canon 5D Mark II and 17-40mm wide angle lens. You know this is an older image when the Canon 5DmII is mentioned.

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Days have been going by so fast lately. Don’t you think? Or is it just me? Even though the days are longer, I swear I wake up in the morning and the next thing I know it’s 2p. If I really thought about it I think I took this image this past weekend but when I looked at my calendar, it was really from three weeks ago! That’s so crazy.

I captured this image at the IGDC sunrise meet up. It was a super cold morning and with no clouds in the sky. Usually those are the kind of days that I would rather sleep in (and by sleeping in I mean sleeping until 7a on a weekend) but I knew I would have had a great time shooting with my friends. I left my camera in my backpack for the most part. I was enjoying the conversations more than anything else. But as everyone was wrapping up and leaving, I noticed the sun burst peaking out of the US Capitol building.  So I shot it and didn’t really think much of it. It wasn’t until I got home and looked at the images on my computer did I realize I captured the reflection of the sun burst. How freakin’ cool is that?

Now that I think about it, I think it would be even cooler if I got some seagulls or something flying in the image and got a reflection of that as well. It would be really nice to have some kind of foreground element to this image. Oh well, there’s always next time. I’ll just have to keep that in my to-shoot list.

The camera settings for this image is F/22 at 1/50th of a second at ISO 200 with my Sony A7II and 16-35mm wide angle lens handheld.

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This image! This image was taken just a few minutes before I took this one. Do you see how the yellow glow from the fog just made us walk down that path? It kinda felt like you were in the movie, ‘Ghost’ where that light shines on you and you know it’s your time to go. LOL. But definitely not as serious.

Fun fact about Ghost: My mom used to sing Unchained Melody  ALL THE TIME on the karaoke machine while I was growing up. I could probably sing you the whole song without even listening to the music because she sang it that much. And it will sound almost the same as the Righteous Brothers. LOL JK. It will be better.

Obviously my favorite part of this image is the fog that is coming out of the trees. I love looking at that one section of the image and then it leads my eye to the person walking next to the reflecting pool. I don’t know why but it just makes everything seem so big, especially compared to that person. The 70-200mm lens that I was using definietly helped with the compression and made the scale look that exaggerated.

This winter has been great for fog and crazy gloomy weather like that. I wonder what it will bring for spring. So far it’s been so cold that it doesn’t feel like the seasons have changed at all. The cherry blossoms have now been pushed back to expected peak date 8-12th of April. Hopefully it will actually bloom at that time but who really knows with this crazy weather. In all honesty though, spring can’t come soon enough.

My settings for this image is F5.6 at 1/640th of a second at ISO 200 with my Sony A7II and 70-200mm lens handheld.

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Another one from Saturday morning’s amazing sunrise.

I was walking up the Lincoln Memorial steps when I just had to turn around and appreciate the morning light. It felt so good on my back that I wanted to see what it looked like and I saw this scene. My favorite part of it all is the light that is shining right down the middle of the image.  My eye keeps going to the huge shadow it created of the guy walking down the steps. It looks like the shadow is as tall as the Washington Monument!

I don’t usually put a lot of sunbursts in to my images, but I do shoot them a lot. Sometimes I feel like they can be a bit overwhelming and may take away from the image. In this particular one, I think it works well. I think it helps create the mood of the light shining down on the reflecting pool and everyone walking around it. I also think it’s interesting how the light effects the people depending on where they stand. The people who are closest to the reflecting pool look so teeny tiny, I love all the layers in this image.

On a side note, how about all that rain and snow we got? Please magnolias. Please stay warm and intact. I’m not so worried about the cherry blossoms. I think they’ll be fine. A similar weather situation happened last year where we got ice and freezing temperatures right before they were about to bloom and they were fine, for the most part. In some ways it was kind of better because it deterred a lot of people from visiting the Tidal Basin. All good with me! But I’m not so sure about how well the magnolias will do since they’ve already started blooming 🙁

The settings for this image is F22 at 1/20th of a second and ISO 250 with my Sony A7II and 16-35mm handheld.

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Theres honestly nothing better than sitting on the edge of the reflecting pool and watching the sky explode with so much color. It brings me so much peace and happiness. This is why I love waking up for sunrise.

I know this is random but earlier this week I was thinking about what it would be like if I had my own solo exhibition. What kind of mood and experience would I want to bring to the people who came to see the show. And honestly the only thing I could think of was sitting at the edge of sunrise. Whether it was at the edge of a reflecting pool or at the edge of a rock formation but sitting there and watching the sky. I would want people to know what that feels like. With the wind blowing in my hair, watching the trees sway a little from side to side, and just listening to nothing but nature. Man, just thinking about that makes me feel so happy. Who knows if that would really happen but if it did, I would be so honored.

When people first meet me, a lot of people will say that I’m a really calm person. One person told me that it feels like I have a lot of inner peace. And a lot of times when people really get to know me, they call me quiet. I don’t know, I’m comfortable with silence. I don’t alway feel like you have to say something or do anything extra. I just like to take my time to observe and be present.

Not sure what any of this has to do with the image. It just makes me smile to think of all the amazing possibilities.

My camera settings for this image is F6.3 at 1/10th of a second and ISO 160 with my Sony A7II and 16-35mm wide angle lens.

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If I’ve said it before, I’ll say it again, 2018 is the year of the FOG. Forget the dog. LOL. It’s all about the fog and this past weekend did not disappoint.

Holy cow did we have fog on Saturday morning. There was a dense fog advisory all night so obviously that meant that I had to wake up super early and capture it all. It reminded me of driving in San Diego because at times while driving into the city it was difficult to even see the highway signs.

I met up with my friends Albert and Austin to shoot around the Lincoln Memorial. It was so great to meet up with them because there were points in time where the fog was sooo thick that you couldn’t see anything and if we were shooting, it was into big, grey nothingness. So we basically just stood around and chatted. But once it lifted the fog created this great atmosphere around the monuments.

This was taken right before the fog was about to cover the Lincoln Memorial again. It’s crazy how fast it went in and out. I like this image because its so monotone without me having to do anything to it. This is basically what you saw if you were there. You can see a little bit of the brown in the Canadian Geese butts and that’s it. That’s not true, there’s a little more color than that. I just wanted to say Canadian Geese butts. LOL.

My camera settings for this image is F5.6 at 1/500th of a second at ISO 400 with my Sony A7II and 28-70mm zoom lens handheld. To be completely honest, I find myself still carrying around my tripod all the time but using it less and less. If you’re interested, I can talk more about that in a future blog post.