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After our first snow of the season, I knew I had to wake up early the next morning and capture the sunrise. Somehow I knew it was going to be a good one. We had 2 days of really grey days so I knew the clouds were going to have to break up and bring in some of the sun light.

But this was not the image I intended to capture. I had every intention of shooting at the Tidal Basin. I thought it would be cool to see how the water did in the snow. Did it freeze over? or was there any snow still on the cherry blossom trees? I dunno. I wasn’t able to drive over there since all the roads around the National Mall was blocked off. I’m not sure why, but I’m thinking it was for some kind of parade or marathon. I’ve tried googling it and still can’t find the answer. Oh well.

So I drove over to the Capitol and figured it would be just as nice. I spent the morning just walking all around the Capitol grounds, blasting my music with no headphones. LOL it was awesome. There was hardly anyone around and it felt like I had the whole Capitol to myself. I felt so free to just walk anywhere I wanted to and was so happy when I stumbled onto this compass. I’ve noticed it before but never saw how reflective it is. I guess the melting snow made for great puddles in here. Love finding hidden gems like this. One thing I didn’t notice while taking this picture was the guy walking in front of the Capitol building. I love how he adds some scale to the whole thing. Yea, the US Capitol building is hugeeee.

My camera settings for this image is F5.6 at 1/80th of a second ISO 160 with my Sony A7II 16-35mm wide angle lens.

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So you know that one of Sue’s highlights from the trip was the Ocean Path. If I had to pick mine, it would have been the airplane tour we did on our last night in Maine with Acadia Air Tours. We booked the “airvan” for 35 minutes at sunset. It was perfect because the plane was actually built for sightseeing.

But if you have never been on a scenic airplane tour, I have 2 photo tips for you:

1. Constantly check your images. The beginning of the flight was perfect. I had the correct settings to make sure I wasn’t getting any motion blur in my images. But as the sun was setting towards the end of our flight, I did not realize how much the light had changed.  I should have bumped up my ISO or something because all the images towards the end of the flight were so blurry. I wasn’t upset or anything, I still had a rockin’ time on the flight. Just check your images as you go!

2. Zoom lens all the way. I brought my 70-200mm just in case, but didn’t feel like I needed it at all. We were only up 2000ft max in the air and I was still able to get pretty good zoom-age with my 28-70mm. I say zoom instead of a wide angle because there were times when there would be a lot of sun glare on the windows. Especially when we were faced a certain way, it was very difficult to avoid it. At least with the zoom lens, I was able to avoid those spots as opposed to a wide angle or something that would have captured it all. Sue was taking pics with her phone and said that the sun glare was really difficult to avoid the entire trip. All of her photos had at least a spot.

So if you’re in Acadia National Park and want to see it from a different point of view or even have a totally different experience, I’d highly recommend Acadia Air Tours. Bernard was our pilot and he was so nice. It was very easy to talk to him and I didn’t feel like I was bothering him with the million and one questions I was asking 🙂  And if you do book a trip with them, tell them I sent ya!

This was taken at the beginning of our flight and my camera settings for this image is 1/25th of a second at F5.6 ISO 640.

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I remember the first time I ever visited the inside of the US Capitol. It blew my mind. Before the visit, I just assumed that everything there was going to be really old looking. Like a building that hasn’t been updated in over 200 years with an overall feeling of cobwebs and dust. But it wasn’t like that at all! I had no idea that it was going to be so beautiful. My favorite was obviously the rotunda. Who doesn’t love a room with an amazing gold ceiling? I love all the light that comes through the windows, the reliefs in the wall and just imagining how many people in our history have walked through these halls. Kinda nuts if you ask me.

But it’s been at least 3 years since I’ve been back.

So I’ve been trying to make it a priority to go again. The first time I went, I had no idea what to expect and I was kinda of caught off guard. This time I knew exactly what I was going to see. I knew to expect something beautiful so I was able to focus my time on composing. It worked out so well. I came out very happy with my images and this one is just the first. I usually don’t try to add people into my images, but I thought in this special situation that it added so much to my story. It was kinda crowded, kinda stuffy but no one even cared because everyone was looking up.

So if you have time, definietly check out the US Capitol tour. It’s only an hour but worth it.

My camera settings for this image is 1/80 seconds at F4.5 and ISO 500. I used my wide angle for this image to capture as much of the ceiling and people as possible.

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After settling into our AirBNB, Andrew and I decided to take Frankie on a walk around our neighborhood to see if there were any good places to eat dinner. We found this one amazing Italian restaurant and luckily they had this really cute outdoor patio so we could bring Frankie too. The food was so good. OMG. I had this mushroom pasta dish, it was so good that I’m still thinking about it now. Anyways….

Frankie was obviously tired from the drive, all the walking around and watching us eat delicious food. We were originally going to take him to Brooklyn Bridge Park but thought he wasn’t going to be able to make it. So we took him back to the AirBNB and made our way over. It’s a good thing he didn’t come cuz we ended up walking EVERYWHERE. Somehow, we even ended up on the Brooklyn Bridge. We’ve both walked it before, but this time was different because it was at night. I was having a ball with all the long exposures and trying to come up with creative compositions. In the end, I really enjoyed this one. I like how you can still see a hint of all the yellow taxis driving by but also the Manhattan skyline.

We didn’t walk across the whole bridge though. We only made it halfway. We figured if we walked the whole way, than that would have meant that we would have had to walk all the way back too. So this was taken from the middle-ish area of the bridge. HAHA

My camera settings for this image was F4.0 at 1.3 seconds ISO 400 handheld – but mostly just using the railings and things to steady the camera. I wish I had a steady enough hand to hold the camera that still for 1.3 seconds. HA!

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Afraid of heights? Yea, me neither. I actually think heights can be fun. Sometimes.

This was taken looking down from a rooftop in Ginza, Tokyo during a fun photo tour I had with Eyexplore Tokyo. I joined them for one of their Vertigo tours and it was definietly a different view of the city than I was expecting. In this image, we were looking down at 3 or 4 different buildings. Hard to tell how many there really are because all them are so close to each other. But most of the time we were confined to really tight spaces on top of these buildings. So, I’m the one wearing black shoes and the tour leader, Axel is wearing the brown ones. Andrew was directly behind me so he didn’t make it into the shot but that was basically as much room we were given on this rooftop. Just goes to show you how smushed we really were and how super jammed pack the city is. There was definietly not enough room for tripods at all. Good thing the Sony a7ii is so great in low light situations. I was using the balcony for camera support during the longer exposure times.

The camera settings for this image was f/4 at .5 sec at ISO 500. The ISO definietly had to be bumped up to compensate for the lack of tripod. But I’m glad I was still able to capture the colors and angle so nicely. For sure a difficult shot and if I had the opportunity, I’d love to do something similar in DC. But I’m not sure how rooftop-hopping would go in these government secured buildings. LOL.

If you ever find yourself in Toyko, consider joining one of their tours. I’m sure you’ll learn a lot, like I did 🙂 Tell them Angela sent you.

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I’m really hoping this marks the beginning of storms here in DC. Summer is my favorite just because we can get some really dramatic skies and this past Monday was no exception. It was super hot over the weekend and finally a cold front came in bringing this storm that created the most amazing skies right at sunset. The storm itself was a little disappointing. We were expecting lightning and only saw a few really far away. But the clouds, the rainbow, the light soooo made up for it.

I met up with my friends Dave and Zack at the Lincoln Memorial. We figured that while it was raining, it’d be a great spot to take cover and still take pics at the same time. It was so fun running back and forth on the outer perimeter of the memorial. At first we were in the front capturing the dramatic skies. All of the sudden I turned around and saw this amazing glow coming from the back of the Lincoln. We ran back there to check it out and take pics. Then we get a message from Zack saying there was a rainbow at the monument. We ran over and started shooting that. It was so fun and exciting. I know we weren’t the only ones doing going back and forth. So many tourists were running along with us. LOL.

My camera settings for this image was F14 at 5 seconds and ISO 50. I chose to shoot this as a long exposure so I could blur out some of the people in the foreground. *What were they all doing there standing in the rain anyways? This was definietly shot on a tripod but somehow I left my remote at home 🙁 Oh well. There better be more storms in next few months.