trail

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Sometimes its good to just wonder.

The other day I was out by the Navy-Merchant Marine Memorial shooting the red tulips. They are so beautiful when they’re fully bloomed. Can you imagine just red on red flowers all lined up at sunrise? It’s like a dreammmm.

Typically when the sun has come up for a while, I’ll head back to my car. But on this day I was not ready. I didn’t want to go back. It was such a beautiful Sunday morning that I felt the need to go on a walk. So walking along the trail next to the George Washington Parkway, I found myself capturing the willow trees with the Washington Monument. I loved how linear everything was. I probably stopped at like 5 willow trees to use the branches as framing pieces. But then there was this one tree where the sun light was hitting it just right.

Wow, check out those leaves on top of the image. If that ain’t an image all on it’s own then I don’t know what is. But then mister bike guy came rolling past and made it even more perfect. I had no idea he was coming and once I saw him in my camera frame, I just kept on clicking, clicking, clicking.

LOL I waited a bit longer to see if I could recreate this moment with another biker. But I waited a good 10 minutes and no one showed up. I lady ran past but it just wasn’t the same. I don’t know what I was looking for with the other biker. I guess I just wanted options. Either way, it was the perfect Sunday morning walk.

My camera settings for this image is F/18 at 1/100th of a second at ISO 400 with my Sony A7Ii and 16-35mm wide angle lens.

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Our days in Acadia National Park went as follows:

4:30a wake up for sunrise
5:30a make our way to the sunrise location
7:00a go for an early morning hike
Finish around 11-12p and eat breakfest/lunch
Go back to the hotel for a much needed nap
Wake up go on another hike
5:30p make our way to the sunset location and shoot the full moon
8p Dinner
9:30p HOT TUB TIME

It may sound intense but we got a lot done with just 2 full days in the park. We did everything we wanted to do, including the Bubble Rock hike. This was our first day’s afternoon hike. To be honest, I think we just wanted to do the hike because it’s called Bubble Rock. It’s a funny name and the entire way up we were making up songs and dances about it. It was hilarious. Plus it took our minds off how intensely steep the hike was. It was a short hike but very vertical. I was huffin’ and puffin’ the entire way up.

This image was taken about 3/4ths of the way up. At first I thought it was THE bubble rock but it wasn’t. Must have been wishful thinking and hoping that the hike was over. It actually was just a miniature version of the real thing but still thought it looked cool. I brought my camera up to my eye when that girl just jumped onto the rock and started to eat an apple. I was so happy when she did. I love how the tree trunks frame the rock and her just sitting there was the extra element it needed. I kinda felt like a creeper, but oh well. It happens.

The settings for this image was F/10 at 1/40th of a second ISO 250. I made it with my Sony A7II and my 28-70mm zoom lens.

 

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This is what I’m talking about!!!

Another image that I shot way back in 2011 in Great Falls Park and at the time I shot this, I don’t think I knew how to edit very well. Or maybe I was just scared to edit it because it would not turn out the way I wanted. Or who knows what the case was but I never edited this image. Isn’t that crazy? I could tell by the other images from this day that it was foggy! I dunno. I was probably intimidated.

But now that I’ve gained more skills and confidence in my photo editing, I am so glad I found this image again. I love it! It really embodies why I love fall colors so much. The red/warm tones are just so welcoming. I can’t wait for the crisp cool air to come. And pumpkin flavored everything in the grocery stores!

Back in 2011, I was strictly shooting and processing my images using high dynamic range (HDR) editing. It’s been at least 3 years since the last time I’ve done this. I’m not sure what you’d call my editing style now, but I definietly have developed a method to produce images that I’m really proud of. If you’d like to see more about how I edit my images, check out these videos.

So the camera settings for this image was 1.3 seconds at F/18 and ISO 800 on my Canon 5D Mark II. I can’t see on my metadata but I’m positive that I shot this on my tripod. Not only because it was more than a second exposure but because everything that I shot at this time was on a tripod. It could have been a super bright, sunshiny day and I would still shoot on my tripod. Even thinking about how much I’d shoot on my tripod makes me grateful for my photo process and see how much I’ve learned and grown from it. Don’t get me wrong, I love my tripod and still shoot with it but only when it’s needed and it’s not needed for every single click.

 

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Do you have Amazon Prime? If you do, you definietly have to check out Shorebreak: The Clark Little Story. It was so inspiring.

First of all, I didn’t even know Clark Little had a amazon prime movie out so I was surprised to see it being suggested. Second of all, I’ve never heard Clark Little talk before. It was so fun to hear his Hawaiian accent. And then I had no idea what he was saying when he was talking to other locals in the film. HAHA so cool!

Last but not least, man those shorebreaks are REDONKULOUS! Yes, I’ve been following his work for years but seeing on video of what he has to go through to capture those images takes it to a whole new level. I remember when I first saw his photography, I was so blown away that I couldn’t stop looking at his work all night. I googled everything I could about Clark Little and was just so impressed from the very beginning. If you remember this youtube video I created, I mentioned how he inspired me. But seeing it from his point of view or even seeing it from above with all the drone footage, man I don’t even know. The whole movie was just so inspiring and beautiful. Even if you don’t like photography that much and you have an appreciate for just nature or anything beautiful, you have to watch it. Watch it, then come back to this blog post and tell me how much you loved it because I know you will!

So this image is not of the north shore where Clark takes his photos. It’s in Kauai. When we visited Oahu a couple of years ago, we were there during a surf competition. We tried to go but the beach was so packed and hardly any parking so we skipped it. But after watching that amazon prime movie, it makes me want to go back. Like now.

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Before we left on this road trip, we had all our stops planned. But the original plan was to stay in Roswell, New Mexico because Sue’s bananas over aliens. But days before we left I was on tripadvisor.com and everyone was saying how Roswell was very disappointing it was. Skrt Skrt– change of plans.

Luckily we were able to adjust our plans to stay in Santa Fe instead. In hindsight this new plan was a 100x better. Not knocking Roswell or anything but we drove through it and the 15 minutes that we spent in the town was all we needed. It probably would have been cool at night time but for us to get the most out of the trip, Santa Fe was a much better idea.

I was so excited to be visiting. It’s one of those places that I’d heard of before but never thought I’d ever visit. My mind immediately went straight to the Georgia O’Keeffe museum. One of my all time favorite artists. I just admire her paintings, creativity, and boldness so much. I could not wait to visit!

georgia okeefe museum, exhibit

Thats me looking at some images of the artist. I swear I’m wearing shorts!

We ended up staying one extra night in Santa Fe so we spent the next day in Tent Rocks National Monument. I guess I was still thinking about O’Keeffe’s flower images while walking the trail because I see some of those abstract qualities in the image above. I took the image while we were walking through the extremely narrow slot canyons. Everyone was concentrating on what was ahead on the trail, I ended up just looking up.

I can see why O’Keeffe loved New Mexico so much. It’s a such a beautiful state and I’m so glad we got to spend extra time traveling and sight seeing. I really look forward to visiting again.