rooftop

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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.

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So all my dreams came true on this trip. Everything that I wanted to do, we did. I guess that’s why they call it a birthday trip, right? HAHA.

For this trip, we stayed in Brooklyn which turned out to be a lot bigger than I thought it would be. It was great because every morning we would take Frankie out to a park or something and wear him out. Then we’d spend the rest of the afternoon/evening exploring on our own. I’d definietly stay in Brooklyn again. It was so much quieter than Manhattan but still really easy to get into the city.

On the actual day of my birthday it rained. But the good kind of rain. It didn’t start until the middle of the afternoon so we were still able to explore in the morning with Frankie. Then when it was raining the hardest, we were already inside the MoMA. The perfect escape. Out of coincidence, Andrew made dinner reservations near Times Square. It was perfect because I really wanted to check out this rootop bar on top of the Hyatt Centric afterwards. It’s the tallest rooftop in Times Square and you get these amazing views of lower Manhattan while sippin’ on some adult beverages. It was still a little wet when we got up there but I didn’t even care. The rain clouds were still hovering over the city and I was having a blast. I think my favorite part of this image (besides the clouds) have to be the reflection in the tall H&M building. So crazy to see how big this city is and this is only a little piece of it.

The settings for this image was F/8 at 1/30th of a second ISO 1000. It was so dark that I had to bump up my ISO up even though I was also leaning against the railing.

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Afraid of heights? Yea, me neither. I actually think heights can be fun. Sometimes.

This was taken looking down from a rooftop in Ginza, Tokyo during a fun photo tour I had with Eyexplore Tokyo. I joined them for one of their Vertigo tours and it was definietly a different view of the city than I was expecting. In this image, we were looking down at 3 or 4 different buildings. Hard to tell how many there really are because all them are so close to each other. But most of the time we were confined to really tight spaces on top of these buildings. So, I’m the one wearing black shoes and the tour leader, Axel is wearing the brown ones. Andrew was directly behind me so he didn’t make it into the shot but that was basically as much room we were given on this rooftop. Just goes to show you how smushed we really were and how super jammed pack the city is. There was definietly not enough room for tripods at all. Good thing the Sony a7ii is so great in low light situations. I was using the balcony for camera support during the longer exposure times.

The camera settings for this image was f/4 at .5 sec at ISO 500. The ISO definietly had to be bumped up to compensate for the lack of tripod. But I’m glad I was still able to capture the colors and angle so nicely. For sure a difficult shot and if I had the opportunity, I’d love to do something similar in DC. But I’m not sure how rooftop-hopping would go in these government secured buildings. LOL.

If you ever find yourself in Toyko, consider joining one of their tours. I’m sure you’ll learn a lot, like I did 🙂 Tell them Angela sent you.