sunrise

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Not to say that I like one better than the other, but another favorite place to shoot fall colors is Shenandoah National Park. Just driving along sky line drive is so peaceful and relaxing. I never have a plan of what I’m going to shoot, I just go. And each time I go is so different.

What’s crazy is that I shot this in 2011! Lately I’ve been going through some older photos. Like way back. And I still remember shooting this. This particular morning was foggy. You know me and how excited I get with fog. But you can’t even tell that the leaves are changing or anything. I just love how the fog washed away all the details and all you see are blurred lines. It sort of reminds me of an abstract painting with an influence of Mark Rothko. The small hint of purple and pink in the middle of the image really draws my attention.

My camera settings for this image was F/18 at 1/20th of a second ISO 125 on my Canon 5D Mark II.

On a side note, I still get quite a few questions about my 5D Mark II. They’re mostly if I still use it and the answer is not really. The only time I really use it may be shooting fireworks. I just trust the camera remote on the 5D Mark II way more than the one on the Sony A7II. I feel like in that “high pressure” situation, (high pressure meaning, I can’t easily re-do it) I’d rather use that camera. Otherwise, it’s straight Sony equipment for me. I still have my Canon body and lenses sitting on the shelf. I may sell it in the future, but I’m not sure. We just have so many memories together that I don’t know if I’d want to give that away.

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So weird that it’s Wednesday, right? I feel like long holidays always throw off my sense of days. Not that I’m complaining at all. I love them. I got to spend time with family and friends and there’s nothing better than that!

Saturday we had a lot of rain. It rained all day and was super gloomy. So in my head that meant that Sunday would have a good sunrise. Even though I was still in my ‘long holiday mode’, I still managed to wake up in time to catch the sunrise from the Lincoln Memorial. I was super lucky too. The sky only had a little hint of pink for a minute and then it was gone. The rest of the sunrise was cloudy and gloomy. But you know what’s funny? Around this time of year, I always see young people hanging out on the steps of the Lincoln. I can only assume that they just started collage and it’s the first time that they have complete freedom. So they stay up all night, doing who knows what, and then thinks its a great idea to watch the sunrise over the reflecting pool. They’re never rowdy or disruptive, but you can definietly tell that they’re struggling to stay awake. LOL. I’m sure I did similar things when I was in college. But hey, at least they’re taking the time to appreciate the new day 🙂 Which they’re probably going to just sleep through anyways. You can see what I mean on the bottom left, next to the column. You may not have noticed it, but there’s someone laying down there “appreciating the new day”.

My camera settings for this image was F13 at 8 seconds ISO 200 on a tripod. Luckily, this early in the morning, no one cares about about your tripod.

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So excited it’s Friday! YES!  This weekend is going to be so fun. I get to spend it with some of my best girlfriends and then Andrew and I will be going to New York. We’ll be gone for most of the week next week and it seriously couldn’t have come at a better time. Time to refresh and enjoy the views 🙂 If you have any photo recommendations, let me know. I’d love to get on to some rooftops while we’re there.

But speaking of views, I love this one. I photograph DC a lot. Sometimes it can be difficult to come up with new and original compositions. Either other people have done it before or I have. The key for me is to walk in different directions, in different environments, and go frequently. This is probably something I’ve captured before during cherry blossom season or something like that, but on this particular morning it was foggy. Taken just 20 minutes after this image, you can really see how drastically the sky changes. But with the fog and the green leaves on the trees, it looked completely different to me. It was very muted and so quite. I love that branch that looks like it’s slicing the Jefferson Memorial and it’s reflection in half. It’s probably my favorite part. At first I was unsure about the puddle on the sidewalk, if it was really necessary or if I even liked it. But the more I look at it, the more I felt like it tells the complete picture. It tells the whole story of what it was like being there. The entire morning I was dodging giant puddles like this all around the tidal basin.

My camera settings for this image was F/6.3 at 1/6th of a second and ISO 200 handheld.

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Usually before I go to bed, I will check my phone for the weather. That pretty much determines if I’m going to wake up for sunrise or not. So last week I was in bed, messing around on my phone when I saw a fog advisory popped up. Music to my ears! I don’t know about where you live, but we don’t get many foggy days in the summer time. Our foggy days usually happen in the winter. So I was so excited to go to sleep so I could wake up to my favorite weather to shoot in.

I was up extra early, got ready and drove down to the tidal basin. I had a hard time even locating the Washington Monument while I was driving into the city. That’s how you know it’s going to be a fantastic day! When I got to my destination, I couldn’t help but smile. The way that the fog was playing with the Washington Monument lights was so cool. I’m glad I got there when I did because soon after I captured this, the color in the sky went away and it slowly got brighter out so the lights weren’t as visible. I posted this image up on my instagram the same day and a friend commented, “U captured an angel in your shot”. OMG it made me see this image in a whole new way. I love it.

What also makes me so happy is that I got emails, texts and messages asking if I saw the fog in the morning. Thank you for all of you who did that. I love that when you see fog you think of me – a thick cloud over the city. HAHA! I love it!

This image was shot at F4.1 at 1.3 seconds at ISO 320.

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Not to call anyone out, but are you a senior citizen? If so, you should definietly know about the new changes to the National Park passes. Starting August 28th, the National Park service is increasing the price of the pass from $10 to $80. So you have exactly 2 weeks to get one if you are old enough. The best part is that you get free admission to any National Park for the rest of your life. That’s a freakin’ deal if you ask me!

Right before our trip to Colorado and Utah, Andrew and I purchased a regular National Park pass. It was $80 and it’s only good for a year. With that trip alone, it paid for itself. A lot of the parks that we went to were $20-$25 admission and the amount of parks we visited paid for the pass within 5 days of our trip. So awesome and convienet. There were even some state parks that accepted the pass too. It’s totally worth it.

So if you’re interested, click on this link from the National Park Service page for more information. Share it with your family and friends too! They will thank you.

This image was taken in Rocky Mountain National Park on our last sunrise of the trip. The sunrise itself wasn’t that great but as soon as the sun came up above the horizon, it turned everything around Bear Lake pink! And that rock in the middle of the water was so beautiful. I knew it would make a great piece for foreground. The perfect way to end our trip even though I really didn’t want it to end. I really enjoyed my time in Rocky Mountain National Park and I look forward to visiting again soon. And any other National Park I visit if a senior citizen wanted to take me. LOL JK.

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Kinda trippy, isn’t it? Like Whaaa?

One morning earlier this year during cherry blossom season, I woke up feelin’ real good. I was able to wake up extra early, drove down to the tidal basin and found amazing parking. (This is an extra big deal because parking can be pretty impossible during cherry blossom season). I basically walked around like I was going to rock this photoshoot with the cherry blossoms. Not to toot my own horn, but I knew some magic was about to happen! Then I saw these guys. They were taking the best cherry blossom trees and lighting them up from the bottom. If you know me and my photography, you know that I never use additional light. No flashes, no strobes, none of that stuff. I always use the light available to me. So I stood there for a minute and thought about how I could make the best use out of the ‘available light’. I really don’t think this image would have been as successful if there was no ‘light at the end of the tunnel’. It creates a depth that I would have not been able to accomplish. So, shout out to the photographers that you see on the left side of this image. You guys created something spectacular for me to capture 🙂 Muchas Gracias.

Although my favorite part of this image has nothing to do with the reflection or the depth that this image has. If you look in the puddle, on the bottom right hand corner, then you’ll see this cherry blossom petal created a heart. I think that little detail is so subtle but so sweet. I was so happy to see it during post production. I like it so much that I don’t even mind that it’s out of focus. I kinda like it better that way.