tour

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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.

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I thought it we were going to have an early spring? Like starting now. The weather in the DC area was so beautiful and warm last week. I was so ready to start pulling out my cute summer dresses and light jackets. Then it all turned over the weekend. I try my best not to complain in my personal life, but this is not good for many reasons. First of all, you’re messin’ with the flowers! The beautiful saucer magnolias blooms that I photographed last week, waiting for the peak, are all gone now. I’m pretty sure this cold weather will have a bad effect on the cherry blossoms as well but I hope not. Secondly, I think my body is confused. First it’s hot, then it’s cold then its hot again. I’m starting to feel the effects of the temperature change in my throat and head. Not fun.

So instead of going outside, I decided to sit in front of the computer and find an image that depicts how I feel. This one from Iceland describes it perfectly. It was along the main (and only) road from our drive in Reykjavík to Höfn. Along one of our million and one stops for horses, I came across this scene. The horses were the things that first attracted me to this image but then my favorite part is the huge cloud behind them. The road signs adds to my confusion of the weather but either way, I’m not liking the snow. Something so clean and neat perfectly shows what it’s really like on a road trip in Iceland.

I’m not sure if you can tell, but I’m not a big fan of being cold. Being in Iceland is different because it’s what’s expected, but not this see-saw rollercoaster of temperatures. End complaint. For now, mother nature.

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I remember while I was taking this picture, I thought I’d never post it. I don’t know why but it’s just one that is very different from what I usually shoot and to be honest, it’s just a water fountain?

But for some reason I came back to it. I still remember walking back to my car and seeing this scene and thinking it was absolutely beautiful. I think it was the sound of the water that attracted me to it first. Then it was the sun light onto the water. It reminds me of peace and stillness.

Often times I’ll still shoot these type of scenes. Even if I think I’ll never post it or even if I know the composition isn’t really working for me, I’ll still shoot it. With digital photography, it’s so easy. I kinda see these images as drafts or the beginning stages of something better. Even so, I still think this one is really great and worth posting. What do you think about it?

Even to this day, I’ll still go out shooting and not post a single image from the shoot. Some may call it a waste of time. I personally that you don’t have to get a perfect 10 every time you go out. Its just not possible. I don’t get mad or frustrated. It’s just how creativity works sometimes. It’s not always there and you can’t always force it. You just have to create whatever makes you feel happy. So yes, this water fountain makes me happy. Same with the glow that the light bounce off the water is giving off.

Anyways, I hope you all have a great weekend and you see things that make you happy enough that you would want to photograph it and remember that moment forever. Peace.

PS. I don’t know where all that zen-ness came from. It was just flowing from my mind to my fingers.  I’m super sleepy and I think when I get sleepy, I get very zen like 🙂