reflection

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I have good news and I have bad news. Since you don’t have a choice in the matter, I’m going to tell you the bad news first.

Bad news is that my Sony camera is taking longer than expected to repair. Turns out it needed much more than just a little tune up and there’s a pretty significant amount of things that needed to be done to it and an even longer list of camera parts that need to be ordered. So in the end of it all, I think the camera repair people will have my camera for almost a month before I get it back 🙁

Even worser news is that I leave to California exactly 1 week from today and I don’t think my camera will be back in time.

I don’t want to bring my Canon camera with me to the west coast. I just don’t want all the extra bulk. So the good news is that I have rented a new body from borrowlenses.com, the Sony A7III. I talked to my friend, Larry about it. He just happens to be the most knowledgable person I know about Sony products and he has already warned me about falling in love. So I feel like am prepared to not like the longer battery life, dual memory card slots, and the focusing. But I’m super excited for my trip!

This image was taken a few weeks ago. The same time I took this image with my Sony A7II. I just love the stillness in this image and the crazy beautiful reflection. Days like this make waking up at 4 in the morning so worth it. I also really like how the image goes from blue to orange.

My camera settings for this image is F5.6 at 1/640th of a second and ISO 500 with my Sony A7II and 16-35mm wide angle lens.

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Sunrises are around 6a now. Which isn’t too bad because I can set my alarm for 4:30, leave the house by 5 and arrive in the city at around 5:15 or 5:20 depending on where I want to shoot and the traffic. Weekends is a total breeze because there is no one on the road. And this past Sunday was no exception.

I was feeling a little tired so I wanted to go to a place where I could easily park and not have to walk too far. Call me lazy but I figured the US Capitol was the perfect spot for just that. I sat on along the reflecting pool when all the sudden the sky blew up in color! It was so beautiful and one of the best sunrises that I’ve seen in a while. I was thrilled that I was out to capture it. It didn’t last too long, probably 10 minutes max but it was so worth the early morning wake up call. Later on in the day I had tickets to go to the Kennedy Center to see Hamilton. So I was taking pictures, listening to the Hamilton soundtrack and overall having the best time watching the sky.

To be honest, Hamilton was FANTASTIC. I loved every minute of the show. The singing and dancing were on point but the story was just so interesting. I had always heard of Alexander Hamilton, but I think that’s because I spend so much time in Washington DC that his name shows up in random places. Like The Hamilton restaurant, seeing his statue in the Capitol Rotunda, things like that. I never really knew who he was or what he did for our country. But now because of the show, I wont ever forget. If you ever get the opportunity to see it, I’d highly recommend going at least once. I was smiling during the entire show.

My camera settings for this image is F16 at 1/6th of a second ISO 320 with my Canon 5D Mark II and 17-40mm wide angle lens.

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Before I left to Aruba, I mentioned the fact that I was really looking forward to seeing the flamingos on Flamingo Beach. And I’m so glad we had the opportunity to see them. To be honest, they were a little smaller than I thought they would be and there wasn’t as many but that didn’t stop me from following them around everywhere to capture their every move. LOL.

They were so fun to watch. Their little habits like stomping on the ground to get food and even biting themselves even while walking was so interesting to see. I think the funniest part was when they would get in the outdoor shower and wait for someone to pull the chain down so they can get fresh water. These flamingos are definietly not wild. There was even a little gum ball machine that had flamingo food that you could pay and feed them, but I was not trying to do that. I think that would be getting a little too close to the birds. My friend was trying to pose for a picture with one and she probably got a little too close. The flamingo actually bit her! She laughed about it while she was backing away and said that it felt like a little pinch but nuh-uh. No way would you ever find me that close to a bird. Even if they’re pretty and pink. Birds are birds. 

You can see in the background there are a few rain clouds. It did rain for a bit while we were in Aruba. It went away in about 20 minutes but it gave us a nice break from the constant sun. I think it worked out well though because I love the tones that it created in this image. 

My camera settings for this image is F4.0 at 1/6400th of a second ISO 400 with my Sony A7II and 70-200mm zoom lens. PS you’re going to be seeing a lot of the 70-200mm in my Aruba images. It had way too much fun with that lens. 

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This image is nuts. I can’t even believe I captured it because it’s really not supposed to look like this at all. This has got to be the worst flooding that I have EVER seen at the Tidal Basin and I’ve seen it flooded a number of times before. For example, here and here and even here.

The sidewalks were totally not walkable at all. I didn’t have my rain boots on this day but that would not have mattered. At some points I think the water came up to my knees. At that point I would have needed waders. Which is a funny story because I actually have a pair. Don’t ask me how I was given a pair… just trust me in knowing that I look super cool in them.

In order to captured this, I walked along the grass the entire time. It was pretty sad to see so many cherry blossom trees just wading in the water. At some points I would even see ducks swim by in places that was supposed to be a sidewalk. It was almost like I was walking through a really weird dream.

The only good side to this is that the reflections were unbelievable. The water was only moving when ducks would swim by but otherwise it was like glass. The sunrise was way better than expected so I was super happy to be able to capture it all in the water and make it look even more dramatic with the reflections.

My camera settings for this image is F4 at 1/500th of a second at ISO 1000 with my Sony A7II and 16-35mm wide angle lens. I noticed that a lot of the images I captured this day were in the shadows because I was walking around in the trees so much (with no tripod) so I had to bump up my ISO to compensate.

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It seems like everyday this summer has either been super hot and humid or super rainy, right? There hasn’t really been an in between in a while. This image was actually taken on one of those rainy days. It rained the night before and it rained right after this image was captured so I was really surprised when color actually came through the clouds during this sunrise. And as a side note super lucky that I left the Reflecting Pool right before it started pouring. The whole morning was really dark so I love the way the pink and purple hues brought out the contrast.

Now that I have my 70-200mm, I’ve been challenging myself to keep the lens on my camera without switching to one of my defaults.  It’s actually a lot harder than it sounds but I think it’s really interesting how subjects that I photograph all the time seem so different. I’ve always talked about getting really low or getting high could help make things look different. Well, getting a new lens can do the exact same thing. I captured this image at focal length 112mm.

Besides the color and the reflection, my favorite part about this image are the ducks. I always get so happy to see them, especially in the summer time. There seems to be new baby ducks all the time. Of course they could be the same ducks that I’m seeing over and over again, but they’re just so tiny that I can’t even imagine being more than a few weeks old.

My camera settings for this image is F4 at 1/60th of a second and ISO 1600 with my Sony A7II and 70-200mm. The reason the ISO is up so high is because this image was captured handheld.

Hope you all have a great weekend!

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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.