sunrise

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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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A little while ago, my friend, Bryon from Utah came and visited Washington. I know him through the Arcanum and have spent quiet a few months talking through email. So when he came to visit we set up a little photowalk session with my other friend from the Arcanum, Larry.

We started at the Reflecting Pool, then the to Lincoln Memorial, Vietnam Veterans Memorial, Constitution Gardens, WWII Memorial, and eventually left at the Tidal Basin. It was a long photowalk but so much fun getting to know Bryon. We talked about everything from Salt Lake City to his initial impressions of Washington DC. It’s so funny because he said that before his first ever trip to the district, he thought that it would just be a concrete jungle. Now that he has visited a few times he knows now that ‘there are so many trees you can barely see the other side of the street’. I thought that was such a compliment.

I love how our city is more than just buildings. It’s beautiful with it’s own little spots of nature.

This was taken at Constitution Gardens. I don’t think a lot of people know about it but it’s a great place to just sit and relax. While walking around the pond, all three of us noticed the amazing light that was hitting the Washington Monument. It was probably a good hour after the sun had actually risen. I immediately busted out with my wide angle lens and got down as low as I could to the water without touching it. OMG I love it when the light can just change everything. Change your view on what you’re looking at and also change how you feel. Not that I wasn’t already happy but seeing that light made me super excited.

The settings for this image is F4.0 at 1/500th of a second ISO 500 with my Sony A7II and 16-35mm wide angle.

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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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Can you believe half the year has already past? That’s crazy! How are your New Years goals going?

This image was actually taken on January 1st, 2018. I remember not setting my alarm clock to wake up for sunrise but since I was still jet lagged, I was up early anyways. These line of palm trees were right around the corner from the Airbnb that we were staying at in North Park on Utah Street. But the best part was that since it was New Years Day there was no one around at all! I loved the fog that was rolling in and the line of pam trees but felt like there needed to be one more element. So I set my camera on my tripod and hit the 10 second timer and ran as fast as I could in front of the camera to just casually walk along the road. I think it turned out so cool. Just the way I had envisioned it.

But if you’re ever in planning on staying in San Diego, Andrew and I really enjoyed North Park. Obviously staying by the beach would have been nice but if you want to go a little more inland, then I highly suggest North Park/University Heights. It was super convient to everywhere we wanted to go in San Diego, about a 15 minute drive anywhere but we were also walking distance to so many great restaurants. Highly recommended. 10/10. I wish I could link you with the Airbnb we stayed at but they sold it a week after we left. We were their very last airbnb tenants. I would have totally stayed there again for our next trip to SoCal.

The settings for this image is F10 at 1/30th of a second and ISO 100 on my Sony A7II and 16-35mm wide angle lens on a tripod.

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Still basking in the glow of the photowalk this past Saturday. It was so much better than expected. To be honest, I was only expecting about 25 people to show up. But about 10 minutes before the photowalk was scheduled to happen, people were were just pouring in. It was so awesome and exciting! I may have counted at least 70 people in total. I still can’t believe it. Thanks again for everyone who woke up so early to walk around the Mall with me. I had such a great time meeting and talking to you all!

Even the weather was better than expected. The days leading up to the event called for some really cloudy skies. Meaning a really dark, probably uneventful sunrise due to rain we were expecting later in the day. Luckily, the weather gods were with us and the clouds parted a bit to bring in these cotton candy, puffy clouds. It was so beautiful, especially at that pre-dawn blue hour.

This image was taken at about 4:55a. I arrived to the Lincoln Memorial early just in case and met up with my friend, Larry for a quick little photoshoot at the Reflecting Pool. He always early to everything so I knew he would have been there even before I arrived. My favorite part of this image is the fog that you can see on either side of the reflecting pool. Those trees are actually along side a path way. The pathway has trees on both sides of it so if you’re lucky enough to see fog, sometimes it gets trapped in there and creates this amazing atmosphere. I just wish I had more time to photograph it.

My camera settings for this image is F8 at 10 seconds and ISO 400 with my Sony A7II and 16-35mm wide angle lens.

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Thank you, Thank you, Thank you Focus on the Story International Photo Festival for an AMAZING festival. I felt so inspired and grateful the entire weekend. I got to see so many amazing images, watched so many great presentations and best of all hugged so many wonderful photographers. I could not be more thrilled.

Obviously my favorite part of the entire weekend was the photowalk. I am still shocked and so honored that about 70 people showed up on a Saturday morning at 5am to walk around the National Mall. Thank you so much to everyone who came out. I hope you had as much fun as I did.

And I can’t help but smile while I scroll through the #FOTSwalk18 hashtag on instagram. The weather called for partly cloudy skies and we even got a little bit of fog rolling through, it was perfect! There were so many great images and I wish I could post them all! But here are a few:

Special shout out to @chantale1 for the group shot at the beginning of our walk.

https://www.instagram.com/p/BjzsHXAA13Z/?tagged=fotswalk18

Lovely long exposure, @rodb_pics

Bennett stole the show, @eugeneksoh! Great portrait, @wvugee

I loveeee this! Thank you so much for capturing this action shot, @geoffliving

Beautiful image of @julwriter, @metroamir. I love the reflection!

Keeping watch. #FOTSwalk18 #nofilterneeded

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Love the mood you captured here, @cborde

I love me me some bird shots too #herons #FOTSwalk18

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Another photowalk, Another blue heron. I’m noticing a pattern. Thanks so much for these amazing captures, @bellasoria.

Beautifully framed #fotswalk18

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GORGEOUS frame, @bellasoria. Wow

https://www.instagram.com/p/Bj0YblWHrkR/?tagged=fotswalk18

Love all repetition in this one, @heatheronthego

Thanks again to everyone who came out. I’m so grateful to have so many talented photographer friends. Be sure to check out the #FOTSwalk18 hashtag to see more images from the walk. And thanks again to Focus on the Story for putting on such an amazing photo festival! I can’t wait for the next one 🙂