sunrise

All photos available for print and licensing >

One of my favorite things to do after taking sunrise pictures is to just sit and enjoy the early morning light. Sometimes you can forget to enjoy the moment. Maybe you woke up late and you’re in a hurry to get to your location or you’re trying to find the perfect composition at the time the light is hitting you subject just right. There can be a number of things that cause you to stress so early in the morning which kinda sounds odd because photography is suppose to be a fun activity. But once all of that madness is done and you’re just left with the early morning light, it can be so peaceful to just sit and enjoy. Even for 10 minutes. It is the most relaxing and beautiful way to spend the morning. I love it. I just feel so happy and calm. Its a great way to just slow down. Rarely will I even have my cell phone out.

This was taken at Otter Cliff in Acadia National Park, Maine. Just looking at this image brings back those feelings of relaxation and peace. I remember sitting on those rocks after I captured this image and watching the sun for a good 20 minutes before doing anything else. That buoy in the distance was ringing a bell every time a wave rocked it over.  Sue and I were the only ones there and barely even said a word to each other. Is it weird to say that thinking about this image and what it took to capture it makes me look forward to waking up for my next sunrise? Yes. The answer is yes.

PS Where the otters at?

The camera settings for this image is F10 at 1/13th of a second with ISO 100 on my Sony A7II and 16-35mm wide angle lens.

All photos available for print and licensing >

Most of the time when I wake up for sunrise, I have no real plans of what I’m going to photograph. Especially now with daylight savings, I’ve been waking up earlier than my alarm and can’t fall back asleep. Theres really nothing else to do that early in the morning but to get ready and go take sunrise pictures.  I just figure out where I want to park my car and let my eyes be the guide. Most of the time that results in some of the best pics.

I took this image early last week. I spent most of the morning walking around Constitution Gardens. I always find myself going back there in the fall. I love the trees and reflections you can get from the water, but this day was a little rough. The sunrise wasn’t much to look at because it was so cloudy. The trees weren’t very colorful yet so I didn’t get much from the pond. Sometimes you win some, sometimes you loose some. I don’t get upset. It just happens.

So I decided to keep walking and I ended up by the Washington Monument. Luckily, there were some beautiful yellow trees along Constitution Ave. that I didn’t notice while I was driving. It was like the branches were reaching toward me screaming, “take my picture, take my picture”. I found a couple that perfectly framed the Washington Monument and played around with the composition. I think my favorite part of the image is seeing the branches themselves. I think it’s really interesting to follow each twist and turn and see where they end up.

What about you? I’d love to know what you like about the image.

My camera settings for this image is F4.5 at 1/400th of a second at ISO 320 with my Sony A7II and 28-70mm lens.

All photos available for print and licensing >

Day 3 of reflections. Check out day 1 and day 2.

Obviously an image of the Lincoln Memorial Reflecting Pool had to be a part of the week long series of reflections. I took this one a couple weeks ago with my friend, Chris. We met up for sunrise and it was forecasted to be a clear day but the predawn colors in the sky were amazing. Usually I hope for clouds for any sunrise image but I feel like the orange color was so vibrant all on their own that it didn’t even need them.

And as I arrived at the reflecting pool I was excited to see that I had got there early enough for them to still have the US Capitol lights on. About 10 minutes later, they were all turned off and it was a lot harder to see it back there. Anyone know what the light schedule to the monuments are like? Next time I’d like to plan for it instead of guessing.

But this same composition has a special place in my heart. It always reminds me of when I first started waking up for sunrise to take pictures. I would make Andrew go with me at first just because I didn’t know what the situation was going to be like. Being a female with expensive camera equipment could be a potentially dangerous situation. But as time went on, I decided that I didn’t need him to go with me anymore. I got comfortable waking up and doing what I needed to do all by myself. So the first time I went by myself to DC, I shot this same exact image and felt super proud of myself.

Now look at me. Sometimes I’ll even wake up before I need to just because I’m so excited to go out to shoot.

The settings for this image is F5.6 for 10 seconds at ISO 200 with my Sony A7II and 16-35mm wide angle lens.

 

All photos available for print and licensing >

Reflections from yesterday. Reflections for today. I bet I could go on all week with just reflection images. I think I’ll try. They’re one of my favorite things to shoot. It’s just so exciting when you see a nice one, especially in a puddle or something like that where it’s unexpected.

But even the Tidal Basin can be unexpected sometimes. The water can get kinda choppy and the reflection won’t be as visible. I’m pretty sure I got lucky this day. With an awesome sunrise, great colors and a great reflection. While post processing this image, I intentionally edited it so the colors went from cool to warm. Love the way that it looks and sort of completes the story of the sunrise. That way you know which direction the sun is coming from and where it’s about to hit. At times like this, you can also see the Washington Monument glow orange from the sun light. It didn’t happen this day, but it’s my absolute favorite when it does happen.

The settings for this image is F/14 at 1/8th of a second and ISO 90 with my Sony A7ii and 16-35mm wide angle lens.

By the way, I received the 2018 Dynamic DC Calendars over the weekend and AHHHHH they look sooo good! I always get so nervous about the final product, but I’m pretty sure that this year’s calendar is my favorite out of all the years that I’ve been doing this. I’m going to start shipping them out later this week so if you ordered one, be on the look out and let me know what you think. If you love it, take a selfie with it. I’d love to see where you hang them and your beautiful face.

If you haven’t gotten yours yet, make sure to get it now. There aren’t much left.

All photos available for print and licensing >

YAY Monday again! Hope you all had a great weekend.

I took this image in September of 2016. You would think that I go to the Tidal Basin so often to take sunrise images that I’d forget what it was like capturing this particular image from over a year ago, but I don’t. A day like this is sort of hard to forget. I remember exactly what it was like. The morning was absolutely gorgeous. I had been walking along the side of the Tidal Basin just snapping away and shooting the sunrise from all different angles. But there comes to a point when you’re just done shooting. You feel like you’ve captured THE image and you’re ready to go home. So I was walking back to my car when all of the sudden I look up and there are rays of pink bursting out of the clouds. OMG it was sooo cool. I took a few shots of it from where I was standing, but I didn’t feel like it showcased the rays like I wanted to. So I immediately started running to a position where I was able to capture the rays of light as if it were coming out of the Jefferson Memorial. I’m lucky the pink rays lasted for so long cuz I’m a slow runner. HAHA.

Doesn’t it kind of look like the grand re-opening of the Jefferson Memorial in Las Vegas? HAHA! Like the Luxor Hotel but not as big and way more historical.

Either way, I’m really happy with the way this turned out. I love how you can even see the reflection of the rays in the water. Not a bad way to start the day, am I right?

My camera settings for this image is F/14 at 1/6th of a second and ISO 80 with my Sony A7II and 28-70mm lens.

All photos available for print and licensing >

This past Friday, I had the honor of going back to high school again. WOW never thought I’d ever say those words but it really was an honor. I was invited by Ms. Archibald (just kidding Amanda), the current photo teacher at my alma mater, Langley High School.

I had such a great time sharing my photo journey since high school and speaking to the students about my photography. But my favorite part was after my talk and speaking to the individuals about their own images. To hear them speak about their own work and what they’d like to accomplish with their photography was inspiring. The creativity they had was like nothing I had seen. One artist was asking me on how she could expand on her dark image series. Another had used an xacto knife on her prints to reinforce the emotions the image was portraying. It was so cool. Man, to be that young again and utilize digital photography and social media to your advantage is so awesome. Kids these days…

The crazy part was walking through those doors again. There has been so much construction that my old high school was hardly recognizable. I mean nothing was the same! The photo lab still had a dark room but their main classroom looked more like a computer class than anything else. Everything is digital! Back in my day we were film only.

It would be so great to reconnect with my old photo teacher. So Mrs. Morse! If you’re out there, let’s have lunch and catch up!!

This image has nothing to do with my day at Langley. It’s an image I took a little while ago but I just thought it was cool. The camera settings on this one is 0.5 seconds and F22 at ISO 100.

Thanks again, Amanda and LHS for letting me come back. I had an experience will be hard to forget.