travel

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If you’ve never been, then I’d highly recommend visiting the Holocaust Museum in Washington DC. It’s not a Smithsonian museum so you have to pay for admission but it’s totally worth it. They do an excellent job of provoking emotions out of you that you’d never expect. While walking through, I felt anger, sadness, confusion and most of all disbelief. Especially when you’re walking through the Tower of Faces. This is a shot looking directly up in the center of the tower. Luckily, I was there when no one else was around so I was able to take my time and make sure everything was aligned. But to imagine all these people, suffering and with such sadness is so overwhelming. I mean this tower is so tall and there are so many faces in here. It’s sad to think that this was just a small portion of the people who actually lived the holocaust.

I really think it’s important to learn from our history. Mostly so we don’t repeat our same mistakes. We can do so much better and we should. I just don’t understand how some people can have so much hatred in their hearts.

Anyways, the settings for this image is F6.3 at 1/13th of a second ISO 160. I used my wide angle lens for this shot because I wanted to make sure I could get as much of the wall space as I could. Kneeling down on the floor helped as well. In post processing, I added a dark vignette around the edges to really emphasize the mood of the tower. I’m hoping the light in the center can symbolize the light at the end of a dark tunnel.

If for any reason you are scared, just know that I was too. But these days it seems like its scarier on the streets than in a museum. More peace. More love.

 

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Not to call anyone out, but are you a senior citizen? If so, you should definietly know about the new changes to the National Park passes. Starting August 28th, the National Park service is increasing the price of the pass from $10 to $80. So you have exactly 2 weeks to get one if you are old enough. The best part is that you get free admission to any National Park for the rest of your life. That’s a freakin’ deal if you ask me!

Right before our trip to Colorado and Utah, Andrew and I purchased a regular National Park pass. It was $80 and it’s only good for a year. With that trip alone, it paid for itself. A lot of the parks that we went to were $20-$25 admission and the amount of parks we visited paid for the pass within 5 days of our trip. So awesome and convienet. There were even some state parks that accepted the pass too. It’s totally worth it.

So if you’re interested, click on this link from the National Park Service page for more information. Share it with your family and friends too! They will thank you.

This image was taken in Rocky Mountain National Park on our last sunrise of the trip. The sunrise itself wasn’t that great but as soon as the sun came up above the horizon, it turned everything around Bear Lake pink! And that rock in the middle of the water was so beautiful. I knew it would make a great piece for foreground. The perfect way to end our trip even though I really didn’t want it to end. I really enjoyed my time in Rocky Mountain National Park and I look forward to visiting again soon. And any other National Park I visit if a senior citizen wanted to take me. LOL JK.

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Cherry Blossoms! On one hand I wish they would stick around longer than a week at a time. On the other, I think it’s what makes me appreciate them even more. They’re so delicate and beautiful. My favorite is when they look like kernels of popcorn jumping off the branch.

My trick with cherry blossoms is to photograph them off the tripod. That’s right, no tripod at all. Unless you’re shooting the sky at sunrise or sunset, I feel like the tripod can be restricting. Especially when you’re trying for new angles and points of view. I tend to put my camera as close as I can get to them and start composing from there. They make for great foreground elements as well a good way to frame and using the branches for line. I particularly like this image because the cherry blossoms are coming at you from every which way. Some may say the ones in the very front should be in focus, but I like the out of focus ones the most. It adds an extra element of depth that you wouldn’t get if they were in sharp.

This was shot early morning, right after sunrise. So my camera settings for this image was F/8 at 1/1000th of a second ISO 1000. Not sure why my ISO was so high. That must have been a mistake. If I were to do it again, it’d probably be in the 100 to 200 range. Results would be the same but I’m sure during post processing I had to denoise it to get rid of the small specks.

Here’s hoping we get a normal winter this year and the snow stops falling in February instead of March like it did this year! A lot of these suckers didn’t’ get to full term this year 🙁

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It’s pretty rare to be able to get an image like this. I think it’s only possible at sunrise. With the glow of the morning peaking through the entrance and hardly anyone there, I feel lucky to live in the DC area and be able to do things like this.

In the image is my friend, Del. I met her and her husband, Matt a couple of years ago in San Francisco. We stayed in touch through social media so it was awesome when they sent me a message letting me know that they were going to be in town. We met up at sunrise in front of the reflecting pool and spent the next hour walking around the different memorials. I knew I had to take them inside the Lincoln Memorial. What other time do you get to have time alone with a President? Any other time of the day, this memorial is PACKED.

I also love how she adds scale to President Lincoln. If you’ve been following my blog for a while, you may have noticed something new I’ve been doing. I’ve been intentionally trying to add people into my images. Trying to break out of my comfort zone and trying new compositions. Most of the time the people look small, sometimes I put myself in the images, but nevertheless, it’s something that I’ve been really liking lately. It adds scale but also a human element that makes you feel like you’re in the picture with that person. Don’t worry though, I will still shoot “the silent landscapes” too. It’s just so hard to compare the two.

The exposure settings for this image is f/5.0 at 0.3 seconds at ISO 320 shot on a tripod. Luckily, Del was standing still long enough so that everything in the image is sharp.

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Be sure to hit the “purchase print” button when you hover over the image. Check out the sky and you see’ll all these little dots. At first I thought they were dust spots (knowing me and my camera) but upon further inspection, they’re all birds!!! How crazy is that! I attempted to try to get rid of them, but eventually I realized there were just way too many of them. Also, I thought it was pretty cool how you can barely see them but if you look deeper, you’ll realize the insane amount of birds that were circling these rocks. For someone who has a slight fear of birds, this whole situation was a little terrifying. Not only were there millions of birds who could have swooped down, lifted you up from off the ground and flown away with you, BUT these waves were extremely huge. I was trying my best to capture just how big they were with the person as scale, but it was pretty difficult. I think you have to be there to really see what I mean. It was like being on another planet with the the beautiful sea stacks, humongous waves and black sand beach.  This image makes me want to go back!

The settings for this image is F6.3 at 1/80th of a second at ISO 80. My main intention was to capture the large waves, but it was also to capture movement. The movement of the water in the foreground and the waves crashing but also the woman who unknowingly became my model. It was funny to watch her because she kept on walking towards the water but would run as fast as she could as soon as the wave crashed down. Its as if she was playing a game of chicken with the cold water.

 

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I’ve been uploading so many travel photos lately that I’ve been missing DC pics. No matter what, I always love shooting this city. Some people can say they get sick of shooting the same place over and over again but I don’t. It’s always looks and feels so different anytime you go. I don’t think I could ever really get tired of it.

This was taken while walking around the Tidal Basin. It was early morning, probably an hour after the sun had risen and the light was hitting these leaves perfectly. I think my favorite part of the image is the reflection of the Washington Monument in the Tidal Basin. It makes it look so long and exaggerated. Funny story is, this was actually influenced by a picture I saw at my doctors office.

I was just going in for a physical when they brought me into a little room to get my weight and my blood pressure. There was a photograph of a similar scene but taken during cherry blossom season and there was a lot more going around on top and around the monument. But I couldn’t stop staring at the reflection of the Washington Monument. I thought it was the coolest part of the image when I’m usually all crazy about cherry blossoms. I guess seeing another person’s work made me see the Washington Monument in a totally different way. It was exciting. I immediately went home to see if I had I something similar to the reflection that i saw in my doctor’s office. and I did! I took this one last year around this time. I never noticed the reflection until that doctors visit. LOL. I totally would have dismissed this picture before but i really like it. It feels like home to me <3