rooftop

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The White House is by far the most difficult landmark to photograph in Washington DC. It’s also the reason why I don’t have many images of it on my site. And in the past couple of years it’s gotten even harder. There have been so many restrictions on where you can walk around or even stand. Its kinda crazy compared to what it used to be.

Thankfully, my friend Christa has the hook up at her job and we were able to go to her work’s rooftop and capture it from there. But even there it was still a little sketchy. She let me know that we may get warnings from the White House just for having our tripods out… on the rooftop… a block away. But in the end, we had no troubles. Thank you Secret Service!

For this image, I used my 70-200mm lens to capture it all. It was the only lens I had on this whole rooftop adventure. I just love the way it compressed all the layers and what’s even more shocking is all the great details you can in the buildings in the very back. That’s Rosslyn, VA in case you were wondering. *shock face emoji* LOL.

What’s even better is that there are 5 american flags in this image. Can you find them all? The last two may be a little more difficult to find but I love seeing little surprises like that.

My camera settings for this image is F5.6 at 1/60th of a second and ISO 1600 with my Sony A7II and 70-20mm zoom lens. I specifically remember thinking that I wanted to create a stop motion effect with the American flag in the foreground so that is why my ISO is so high. The sun was setting and the light was already pretty dark. It had to be a real quick shutter.

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Day three of gratitude and I could not be more grateful for the DC photo community. When I first started out in photography, I thought I was the only one. I honestly thought that I was the only one from this area who enjoyed walking around and taking pictures. Obviously I had seen other photographs of DC before, but I had no idea who these people were or how to connect with them. So I spent the first 3 or 4 years all by myself.

After a while, I think I just got bored…

so I signed up for Instagram. My eyes seriously exploded. This is where all the people were hiding! I had no idea there was such a large community of local photographers and all their images were amazing! I decided to go on my first photo walk with IGDC and soon after that, Walk with Locals. It’s hard to describe the energy around these walks but I have nothing but positive things to say about them. And it’s so great because even if you don’t know anybody on the walk, you know you at least have one thing in common, a passion for photography. It’s so fun to spend a few hours with like-minded people creating. Ugh, I love it.

Now I love going out to take pictures with people, I’m no longer bored, and somehow I see things in a different perspective each time I go out. It has opened my world to new people and new places and I’m so grateful to the DC photo community for helping me do this.

This image is of my friend, Laurie one morning at the National Gallery of Art. She’s just one of the awesome people I’ve met through Instagram and thrilled every time we get to hang out.

The settings for this image is F/8 at 1/800th of a second and ISO 160 with my Sony A7II and 16-35mm wide angle lens.

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YESSSS! I am so pumped for this week, you have no idea. It’s my favorite holiday out of all the holidays, THANKSGIVING!!!!!! Theres no stress, it’s all about giving thanks and enjoying a good meal with family and friends. How can it get any better? My thanksgiving kicked off yesterday with my girlfriends as we celebrated, Friendsgiving. We had a blast catching up with each other and taking fun selfies. Can’t wait for the main event later this week. Imma wear my stretchy pants 🙂

So I thought it would be a great idea to take this week’s blog posts and talk about a few things I’m grateful for.

Today I’m grateful to be living in the DC metro area. No matter how many times I visit the city, I can never get bored. Whether it’s for photos, eating out, or seeing friends, Washington DC is always my favorite to explore. Theres just this certain energy about it. I’ve lived here my whole life and I still don’t think I’ve seen it all. It’s been amazing to see it grow and I could not be any prouder to be a Washingtonian.

I took this image last week with my friend, Christa. Weve known each other for years now, but for some reason it took this long for me to get on top of her office’s rooftop. As soon as I walked out I could not stop saying “WOW”. There are hardly any great vantage points of the Jefferson Memorial besides the Tidal Basin and this elevated view puts things in very cool perspective. You see those lights behind the Jefferson? Yea, that’s Reagan National Airport. Soooo cool right? See what I mean by never getting bored by this city? I love it!

My camera settings for this image is F4 at 1/6th of a second ISO 1250 with my Sony A7II and 70-200mm lens.

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Last week, I was so honored to be invited by POD DC and Crimson Diner & Whiskey Bar to join them for an end of the summer rooftop celebration. The new hotel with accompanying diner is located right in Penn Quarter. They had a wonderful tasting menu including lobster rolls and a fun cocktail making class. I participated in both 🙂

And now that sunset is earlier and earlier in the day, we were up on the roof just in time to watch the sun go down and the dark sky light up. My favorite part of the view is being able to see the Friendship Archway at Chinatown with the Washington Monument all the way in the very back. So cool! I don’t think I’ve ever seen a vantage point like this one.

My intention for this image was to capture some car light streaks going through the Friendship Archway. I did not have my tripod so I kinda of balanced my camera along the edge of the rooftop to capture this. The settings on my camera was F7.1 at 3.2 seconds and ISO 160 and I didn’t even need a wide angle. This was shot with my 28-70mm and was still able to capture it all. But I also have to credit my Sony A7II for this. It’s fantastic in low light situations and it was so easy to capture this.

Even on a Thursday night, there were still quite a few people walking around and enjoying the night. I wanted to make sure that it looked lively so I upped the saturation in the lighter parts of this image to make it look a little more vibrant and happening.

Now that I know about this place, I’d love to go back on a night with a really nice sunset. I think the images would turn out fantastic. Thanks again, POD DC. I had a blast!

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A couple of weeks ago, I was planning on meeting a friend for a quick get together. Something informal but still fun. So when it came down to picking the place to meet, I chose the Sculpture Garden at the National Gallery of Art. For real, if you’re in the DC metro area and you need a good place to talk, I’d definietly recommend this place. We sat at the benches right around the water fountain under some shade and it was perfect. The meeting ended quickly and I still had time on my parking meter so I decided to walk around the National Gallery of Art for a little bit.

The East Wing has always been my favorite. It’s the modern art part of the gallery and every time I go, I fall more and more in love with this space. It is just so beautiful. The light that comes in through the glass roof in the middle of the day along with all the shadows they create are so amazing. Just every corner of this wing is spectacular.

It has come to the point where I come to the gallery so often that I never try to see it all at once. I’ll pick a floor and take my time there. Really soaking in everything the exhibit has to offer. Then I’ll probably go to the rooftop terrace if it’s a really nice day and then head home. I never feel rushed and it makes it feel brand new every time I visit if I see something new. Regardless, it’s always inspiring and a great way to spend an hour or so.

The settings for this image is F7/.1 at 1/125th of a second ISO 160. Obviously it was a nice and sunny day out so I was able to capture everything with a low ISO.

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And this is the same place as Monday’s blog post, but looking down. How freaky is this view? Right?

I don’t know why, but I find myself trying to get a closer look in to all the windows and trying to see if I can see anyone else on these rooftops. Is that creepy? Yes, but I can’t help it. For some reason, this image just brings me in closer and closer to look at all the details. I love how some lights are on, some are off. You can even see some furniture and.. OK I’ll stop. But I think my favorite part is looking at the roof top fans. LOL. I guess I don’t see things like that everyday so they interest me even more so in this image. Just another crazy view of how busy New York City really is. How everyone’s lives are so different but all in the same little area. On the top left hand corner is a perfect view of times square. Congested with all the sparkling lights. And this image was taken on a random Tuesday night. Can you imagine what it’d be like on a Saturday night? Woah.

Funny story: this particular evening was super cloudy and dark. Rain was off and on and Andrew and I were in a taxi on our way to dinner. We drove right through times square and I was busy looking at my phone. All of the sudden it got really light and I was like ‘OMG the sun came out!” I was super excited because I dunno, I guess I like the sun. But when I looked up it was actually just the lights from times square! Isn’t that nuts! It’s so bright that I thought the sun came out. HAHA

The settings for this image was F7.1 for 0.4 seconds at ISO 800.