Sunset

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Not too long ago, Budget Travel reached out to me because they wanted to use one of my images for their blog post. They were writing a piece on the best places in the country to see the sunrise and obviously, Washington DC made the list (because it really is one of the best places!). So I was honored that they wanted to use one of my images.

Click here if you want to check out the article.

You may have remembered when I took this image. It was at the same time as this one. Isn’t it crazy how different it looks with a vertical crop vs. a horizontal crop? They were obviously taken a couple of minutes a part but they look so different to me. What about you? Do you see a difference? If so, which one do you prefer? Anyways, I love the way that this one turned out as well. I think it’s so interesting to see the cloud formations behind the trees. The reflection from the reflecting pool could not be any better!

On a side note, we just got back from our trip to Orlando yesterday. I had a blast! A much needed vacation after a pretty stressful time in life. I’m ready to get back out there and shoot! More sunrises and sunsets like this please <3 I’ll be back home for a little while now. No real trips planned as of yet but I’m getting the itch to go somewhere in springtime. If you know of any cool places to go to, let me know. Especially places with some beautiful flowers!

My camera settings for this image is F8 at 1/30th of a second at ISO 250 on my Sony A7II and 16-35mm wide angle lens on a tripod.

Thanks again Budget Travel!

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While I was shooting the sunset on Pacific Beach in San Diego, CA, my eyes were strictly on the water. I was watching people run in and out of the ocean and the waves were glowing in the sunlight when Andrew stopped me and told me we had to go watch this bubble guy. I had no idea what he was talking about but I stopped shooting and started following him to the boardwalk. Apparently this guy comes out everyday to create these bubbles. I don’t even think he had a tip jar. He just does it for the pure joy of it which is so awesome. And he had a huge crowd surrounding him as well. Kids of all ages wanted to check out this bubble guy.

We only stood there for a few minutes but you can tell he was making everyone so happy. But don’t be fooled, these bubbles were no joke. These kids got so soaked when they bursted on top of them. It was kind of funny. He even had some dogs barking at him too.

My favorite part of this image is the actual bubble itself. I love looking at the left hand side where it has already burst and in the center, above the sun where it has so many light variations.  It’s so interesting to look at the different ‘stages’ of the bubble. But I also really like the children that are in it. They add so much to the story, especially with their hands.

Props to this bubble guy for doing this everyday. I’m sure he has so many stories to tell just from standing in this one spot.

My settings for this image is F/25 at 1/125th of a second and ISO 125 on my Sony A7II and my 28-70mm lens.

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Being a photographer, I’ve learned a lot of really random things. For example, did you know that the Washington Monument in Washington DC was built to sway with the wind? Yea, that’s just in case we get a really windy day and the tallest structure in our Nation’s Capitol won’t snap in half. Isn’t that crazy?

Well, staying in San Diego for two weeks was no different. I learned so much about the environment I was in. For example, tides. Living in Virginia, I’ve never had to be concerned with how high or low the water is but in California, this information is so crucial. After the first one or two sunsets, I found myself looking at tide charts and figuring out how all of this stuff works. To generalize, I found that low tide occurs around sunset. I don’t know if that’s true all year around, but it was true in January. So I planned all my photo ops knowing that if I wanted to capture full strength waves, it had to be at sunrise.

This image was captured right at sunset. The tide was low but there was still a whole bunch of water still on the beach from earlier in the day. It made for the perfect beach reflections. My favorite part of this image is the tallest palm tree on the right hand side. The top of the tree looks like it’s standing on a toothpick. It’s crazy because when I came here the next day at sunrise, the water was all the way up to the wall. There would have been no way I could have walked on the beach unless I had plans of getting wet in the water.

My settings for this image is F11 at 0.3 seconds at ISO 125 with my Sony A7II and 16-35mm wide angle lens.

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On our last day in California I thought about the places that I would miss the most in San Diego. We were able to see and capture a lot in the two weeks that we were there so there were a lot of places to consider. Each of locations were great in their own way but I decided that I’d only go to my absolute favorites on the very last day for sunrise and sunset. Somehow both times ended up being somewhere in La Jolla.

This image was from our very last ‘sunset’. It was so foggy at the Windansea Beach and the visibility was very low. It didn’t matter though. I was just so happy to be there. I love just sitting on the rocks, feeling that ocean breeze in my hair and taking in the whole scene.  It was really cool to see so many surfers out too. The waves were huge and I have no idea what kind of system they have in the water to make sure they don’t run into each other, but it was so fun to watch them ride. It seemed like at any given moment there was a surfer coming in and a surfer going out. But now that I think about it, I don’t think I ever felt the water myself. I just automatically assumed it was going to be cold and didn’t even try. LOL.

I’ll definietly miss San Diego, especially on cold weather days back home in Washington DC but I’m super grateful for the time we got to spend there. I know we’ll definietly be back to California sometime in the near future. I’ll be thinking about you beaches, palm trees and all organic green smoothies. (How did this turn into an eulogy?)

My camera settings for this image is F10 at 1/50th of a second at ISO 200 with my Sony A7II and 28-70mm lens on my gitzo tripod.

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Ok so I couldn’t say that White Sands National Monument in New Mexico was my favorite place I traveled to this past year because I LOVEDDDD Colorado. Colorado as a whole is amazing. I felt like every turn we made was something even more beautiful on the other side. I’m pretty sure I said “wow” about a million times. I would LOVE LOVE LOVE to spend more time there in 2018. Theres something about those snow capped mountains that gets me so excited.

And among all the beautiful places in the Centennial state is Rocky Mountain National Park. Unfortunately there were parts of the park that was closed due to snow while we were there but still really enjoyed the park in general. That’s just another reason to go back right? This was image was taken on our first sunset there. We arrived to our walk early which meant we were able to take our time and take in beautiful views like this.

But it can be difficult at times finding balance. Photographers, let me know if you feel this way too. Usually when I’m out I feel some sort of pressure to find the right composition with the right lighting and to keep it moving so I don’t always end up with the same shots. But with all of that going on in your head, when do you find the time to just stop and enjoy the sunset? I’ve even heard of photographers saying that the only way they could really enjoy the sunset is just leaving the camera at home. I don’t agree. I think having your camera enhances the experience but there does need to be some sort of balance.

If you want to see more from our adventure, watch this youtube video. Shoutout to cheetos for being so delicious 🙂

My camera settings for this image is f/9 at 1/640th of a second at ISO 640 with my Sony A7II and 16-35mm wide angle lens.

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And probably the most epic travel experience of 2017 was our cross country road trip from Northern Virginia all the way to Southern California. It was intense, but soooooo much fun. I can’t even express how fortunate I am to have been able to do something like that. Everyday was a brand new adventure with driving times averaging 9-10 hours everyday. That doesn’t include all our pitstops. Some were as long as touring Elvis’ Graceland to as short as visiting Cadillac Ranch in Amarillo, Texas for 10 minutes. Either way, it was a trip that I’ll never forget.

My favorite, favorite destination without a doubt was White Sands National Monument in Alamogordo, New Mexico. It has been a place that I’ve been wanting to go for the longest time and when the opportunity presented itself, I knew that was a place where we were spending the night. No pit stops, no messing around, we’re taking as many pictures as we can of this place! So that meant sunset and sunrise. Unfortunately the park wasn’t open at sunrise but we were still able to take some early morning shots which was cool, but not as cool as sunrise. LOL.

Fortunately when we arrived at sunset, a huge rain storm was about to arrive as well. It turned the skies all these crazy colors of orange and purple, I literally thought I was in a dream. Running up and down these sand dunes is no joke either. I was going crazy trying to find different perspectives with the skies. By the end, I was super out of breath. Note to self, forget your shoes and bring a bottle of water next time you shoot sand dunes.

My camera settings for this image is F7.1 at 1/20th of a second ISO 160 with my Sony A7II 28-70mm.