tidal basin

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Always on the hunt for new compositions around the National Mall, I found this one a while ago. However it was one of those things where I couldn’t get it right and wanted to try again until I came out with something I was happy with. Last week I was a bit early for sunrise so I thought I would take my time walking around Kutz bridge. It was about 6a (sunrise is close to 7:30a now!) so there were plenty of people driving around. I figured this was the perfect opportunity to try some cool long exposures.

I started off on top of the grail. You can’t tell but you can get some pretty cool reflections off of it from the tail lights as the cars drive past. The reflections were cool but I still wasn’t happy with the composition. That image will probably be one of those that I go back to and try again. So I decided to get down a little lower and actually put my camera on the ground to capture the light trails. This turned out so much better. I love how the grail is dividing the image in to two parts but the way that the clouds have formed and the angle of the car lights make it all look like everything is pointing to the center of the image. It is such a yin yang type photo with the dark shadows on the left and bright light from the street lamp on the right.

One of my favorite things about the Sony cameras is that you can tilt up your LCD screen so it’s much easier to see what your camera is seeing without having to bend all the way over.

My camera settings for this image is F8 at 6 seconds at ISO 320 with my Sony A7II and 16-35mm wide angle lens.

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It’s October and it still feels like it is summer in the Washington DC area. The average temperatures have been high 70s and I still find myself walking around in shorts but believe me I’m ok with it! Totally not the cool temps that I’m used to for this time of year but my favorite part about it is that we’ve been waking up to some amazing fog these past few days.

For me, fog is a little more difficult to capture than a beautiful sunrise. I have apps and things to help me figure out if the sunrise is going to be nice but fog seems to be more elusive. It just seems to pop out of nowhere and it’s a huge surprise. So obviously, the past few times that I woke up to try to capture it, it wasn’t there. But the days I decide to “sleep in” (sleeping-in to me is waking up at 6a), it shows up when I’m out for our morning walk with Frankie. Its ok though because I actually have quite a few images of fog from earlier this year and even from a few years back.

This particular image was taken on Christmas day in 2015. It’s an image that I had wanted to capture for a while. I love how the fog is covering the bottom half of the Jefferson Memorial but you can still see the reflection in the water. It just gives off this creepy, halloween vibe and I love it.

Hopefully these foggy mornings will stay for a while so I have more opportunities to capture it in a different ways. By the way, this image is in color. It was just THAT grey out with all that fog.

My camera settings for this image is F9 at 1/50th sec at ISO 200 with my Sony A7II and 28-70mm zoom lens.

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Thank you all so much for your amazing feedback on Snap DC. I think I check amazon almost everyday just to read the reviews. They make me so happy and I’m so glad everyone is getting so much value out of the book. If you haven’t already, sign up for Snap DC’s newsletter list. I just updated it so that you’ll receive a free photo itinerary for a 1, 3 or 5 day trip to Washington DC. It really is the perfect supplement to the book and it was so much fun to create.

Obviously, the Jefferson memorial and the tidal basin are in the book. Lately, the tidal basin has been my go to place to go shoot. I love the reflections but there’s always something interesting to photograph there. If you look close enough at this image, you can see the bus loads of people visiting the memorial. This was taken around sunset so the memorial is packed with tourists. In the book, I discuss my favorite places to photograph at the tidal basin including the spot where I was standing to take this image. Andrew and I were the only ones there and to be honest, I probably got the better image of the memorial than anyone who was that close to it.

So to find out all the knowledge I have accumulated throughout my years of photographing the Mall and surrounding areas of Washington DC and check out the book and don’t forget to download the itineraries! I’m pretty sure the most frequently asked question I get on social media is, “did I move to the Mall?” The answer is no, but it would be so much easier if I did 🙂

My camera settings for this image is F7.1 at 1/250th of a second at ISO 400 with my Sony A7II and 16-35mm wide angle lens.

All photos available for print and licensing >

Wow! Remember this past winter I kept on saying that this year is the year of the fog. We had so many crazy foggy days and it was so awesome. On this day I was out with my friend, Birch and seriously walked the Mall with what seemed like hundreds of pictures. Every angle was a cool angle because the fog made everything look so different. It was difficult not to take a spooky looking picture.

But the weirdest part about this day was we captured this around 11a. So weird! I don’t know about you, but I usually associate fog with early mornings and then it fades away as the sun comes up. But this was pretty much in the middle of the day so I didn’t even need a tripod. It was fantastic!

Well, I’m hoping that fog follows me to the west coast because today I’m flying out to San Francisco. I’ve always wanted to capture the fog over the Golden Gate bridge and I heard that August is probably the best time to actually witness it. So please cross your fingers for me that the fog comes rolling in. *C’mon year of the fog!* I’ve already book marked some of the places where I want to photograph to capture it all. If you have any suggestions for me while I’m in San Francisco, please let me know! Photography or food spots are appreciated 🙂 I’ll just be in the bay area for the weekend and will be meeting up with my family early next week. I’m going a few days earlier just to take pictures around the city and hopefully meet up with some photo friends along the way 🙂

My camera settings for this image is F4.5 at 1/640th of a second at ISO 320 with my Sony A7II and 16-35mm wide angle lens.

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I have good news and I have bad news. Since you don’t have a choice in the matter, I’m going to tell you the bad news first.

Bad news is that my Sony camera is taking longer than expected to repair. Turns out it needed much more than just a little tune up and there’s a pretty significant amount of things that needed to be done to it and an even longer list of camera parts that need to be ordered. So in the end of it all, I think the camera repair people will have my camera for almost a month before I get it back 🙁

Even worser news is that I leave to California exactly 1 week from today and I don’t think my camera will be back in time.

I don’t want to bring my Canon camera with me to the west coast. I just don’t want all the extra bulk. So the good news is that I have rented a new body from borrowlenses.com, the Sony A7III. I talked to my friend, Larry about it. He just happens to be the most knowledgable person I know about Sony products and he has already warned me about falling in love. So I feel like am prepared to not like the longer battery life, dual memory card slots, and the focusing. But I’m super excited for my trip!

This image was taken a few weeks ago. The same time I took this image with my Sony A7II. I just love the stillness in this image and the crazy beautiful reflection. Days like this make waking up at 4 in the morning so worth it. I also really like how the image goes from blue to orange.

My camera settings for this image is F5.6 at 1/640th of a second and ISO 500 with my Sony A7II and 16-35mm wide angle lens.