summer

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This summer has been so good so far. I’ve been to more new-to-me places in the United States these past few weeks then I ever have in my whole entire life. Thank you, Thank you, Thank you! So grateful.

And our trip to Colorado seemed like it was so long ago but it really wasn’t. It was just the jump off to so many amazing adventures. I had a blast just driving around and checking out the sites. Beautiful mountain ranges at every turn. I remember purposely staying awake in the car so that I could see more of Colorado and once we hit Utah, I was out like a light bulb. LOL.

So this image was taken at one of our many pull over stops. I have no clue where it was but I just really enjoyed the cloud formations and the way the light was hitting the mountains. Can you imagine seeing this on your daily commute? That’d be bananas. I feel like after this trip, I am much more in awe of snow capped mountains than I am of any beach or anything like that.

I really don’t know what it’s like in the winter time but if it weren’t too bad, I’d definietly consider living in Colorado for a little while. That’s how much I liked it. So if you’re reading this and you have experienced the winter in Colorado, let me know! Is the snow just ridiculous? Would I have to get a SUV? What do you do in the winter time besides ski? These are the questions I need answered before I move.  The weather while we were there in the beginning of June was absolutely perfect! The air was so crisp and clean. Perfect weather to walk around or enjoy a meal outside.

 

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Flowers are my favorite. They make me so happy. Especially when you see a whole bunch of them growing like these sunflowers in southern Maryland. This image was taken last year and I’ve heard the ones this year are just couple weeks away from blooming. Can’t wait!

So if you’re in the DC metro area and interested in shooting these sunflowers, google or click this link for McKee Beshers. It’s hard to give an exact location to where they are but on their website, they’ll have a map of where the sunflowers are blooming. That will be your best bet.

If I can offer you any tips on shooting these sunflowers, it would be BRING BUG SPRAY. Not even joking. I’ve never had so many bug bites in my life. Two years ago, I went with my friend Ryan to go shooting and at one point we decided there were way too many mosquitos and we started running back to the car. Tell me how I swallowed 2 of them!!! It’s absolutely nuts how they just swarm you. I’ll never wear shorts out there. I rather be hot in long pants and a shirt before I even think about going there with too much exposed skin. If you haven’t noticed yet, these bugs are for real. Definietly take precautions. The mosquitos and I are not friends.

Other than that, sunset is probably your best time to go too. I’ve tried sunrise a few times but where these fields are located, sunset is definietly the time with the best light. I’ve seen people bring ladders and that’s probably a cool point of view as well. If you have any other questions about these sunflowers, don’t hesitate to ask 🙂 I know a lot of people were asking me about them on instagram so I think that answers the majority of them.

My settings for this image was F7.1 at 1/13th of a second ISO 125 shot at sunset while a storm was approaching.

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So grateful that yesterday’s Independence Day fireworks were so awesome! The forecast had called for 40% rain showers but you would have never known it. The weather was perfect. It wasn’t too hot that it was unbearable to stand outside and sitting under a tree made for a nice breeze. Luckily the clouds weren’t so heavy and dark this time that the fireworks were really able to shine.

My friends Jim and Rosa joined Andrew and I in capturing the fireworks. We ended up at the US Capitol which I had never thought of shooting from before. It turned out awesome because they were having their own concert there and John Stamos (Uncle Jesse) was the host! I was singing and dancing up until the big show. Then while the fireworks were going off, they had even more performances going on. It was a little distracting because I didn’t know what to look at, the performance or the fireworks, but overall it was a blast!

At first I was a little disappointed with how many people were in front of us for the pictures. But taking a moment to really think about what I wanted the end product to look like, I think it worked to my favor. It’s a totally different view of the fireworks than I’ve ever captured before and I think it’s an accurate depiction of what it’s like shooting on July 4th in DC. Crowds of people, a big production, and everyone having a good time. I really like how you can see the fireworks in 4 different places in this image. Can you spot them all?

But lesson learned. If I ever shoot at the US Capitol again, go early. Same goes for all the Lincoln Memorial which I might try to go to next year. The angle from that memorial looks beautiful!

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I’m home! and I’m exhausted. Who knew driving over 3,000 miles would wear a girl out so fast. But in the past 10 days I created memories that would last a life time. So many great adventures and sights. In the end, looking back at all 7 states we drove through I could honestly say that I would not have changed a thing. I had a freakin’ B L A S T!

This image was from our very first stop in Covington, VA at Falling Springs Falls. Upon arrival, I didn’t know much about it. I just knew it was a huge waterfall really close to the road and on our way to Nashville, TN so it was the perfect pit stop to get out and stretch our legs. Little did I know that it was SO beautiful. My favorite part was being able to see the waterfall from the very top of it AND the very bottom. All you had to do was climb a couple of rocks and you were there! It kind of reminded me of Slijalandsfoos in Iceland because you can actually walk behind it too. Too bad we weren’t wearing our bathing suits or I would of wanted to jump in.

I definietly want to come back here on a hot summer day with Andrew and Frankie. It’s only 3 hours away from where we live. Frankie doesn’t like getting wet but I’m sure he’d enjoy the trail and hanging out outdoors with us.

I still can’t believe we drove all the way to California. There’s a lot to catch up on so be sure to check out the blog for the next few days and I’ll be uploading a youtube video as well. I don’t even remember half of what I filmed so that should be very interesting. HAHA!

 

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H O M E!

Arrived into Dulles airport real late last night and went straight to bed. Today I plan on catching up on a lot of emails, laundry and image editing. Any image or place you want to see in particular? I’m taking requests. LOL. Can’t wait to start diving in to these photos. Only problem is that I took so many pictures that it’s hard to figure out where to start! Its a good problem I guess 🙂 More stories about our road trip as the blog posts start rolling out and there will be a youtube video!

But it feels so good to be home.

In general, many people ask me for my secret shooting location or favorite spot to shoot in DC. It’s hard to say. But what’s easy to say is my favorite parking spot. It’s 100% the paddle boat parking lot at the Tidal Basin, as seen on this map. It is by far the most centrally located parking space to all the monuments, but for some reason hardly anyone parks here. Theres always plenty of parking whenever I go. Plus it’s freeeee! The only down side to this parking lot is that it’s closed during Cherry Blossom season. 2 weeks out of the year? No big deal. I’ll take it!

Even if you’re feeling a bit lazy and don’t want to leave the parking lot, you get some beautiful views like this one. I love these new swan paddle boats. They make things so much more interesting.

I shot this with my fav, Ice Neutral Density Filter 10stop to get that silky smoother water. My camera settings for this image was F7.1 at 25 seconds at ISO 500 on a tripod on a super cloudy but beautiful evening.

Starting tomorrow will be images from our trip! Can’t wait to share with you! EEEKKKKKKKK.

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Now that the spring flowers have basically come and gone. Everything in our area is looking very green. I’m really looking forward to all the summer flowers that bloom like the sunflowers and these lotus flowers. The best ones in the DC area are definietly the ones in Anacostia at Kenilworth Park and Aquatic Gardens. Its like rows and rows full of them. The only thing that’s not so great about them is that they are only open from 8:30a to 5p. Peak hours for the sun light to be shining down on them so they can be a little difficult to photograph.

My tip to photograph the lotuses during this time would to be find a large tree. Hopefully it’s casting it’s shadow on at least one of these lotuses so it would be very even lighting on the flower. They really can be really difficult to photograph under the extremely harsh light. If you can’t find one that’s in a shadow, then I’d recommend trying to shoot from the bottom looking up. They can look amazingly majestic from this point of view and the light shining down on them can really help. And especially with the pink color, they look great against a blue sky. I remember when I first found about these flowers, Kenilworth didn’t close their gate so I could walk in at sunrise. They must of learned from Great Falls Park to shut it down once it was closing time 🙁

My camera settings for this image was F9 at 1/800th of a second with ISO 250. I used my 100mm macro Canon lens and metabones adaptor to be able to shoot this on my Sony A7ii. My intention was to get the whole flower in focus and make the background blurry. I think the F9 aperture did a great job at doing this.