travel

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And we’re in the home stretch. Today we’ll be arriving in San Diego which is our final destination for our great American road trip and we’ll be spending the rest of the weekend here. I’m not going to lie, this has been the time of my life but it has also been exhausting. Driving across country is something that I never thought I’d do but I’ve learned so much from it. Next time I do this, I want to drive through the northern part of the country like South Dakota, Montana, Wyoming. Theres so much more to the country that I haven’t seen. Seeing it from the road is a great way to appreciate it all. Hopefully Andrew and Frankie will be able to join. That would be sooo much fun.

This image was taken on top of the parking garage at Union Station. Pro tip- Union Station itself is amazing to photograph. Interior, exterior, beautiful views it has it all. Then after you’re all done, you can go down to the restaurants and get an adult beverage. But seriously, this an amazing spot for sunset with an unique view of the Capitol. There aren’t many places where you can go on a rooftop or shoot from a very tall point of view in Washington DC. Especially now since the Washington Monument is closed for who knows how long. So for a great birds eye view of things, Union Station¬†is one of the best places to go to.

My settings for this image was F6.3 at 1/10th of a second at ISO 160. I did not have my tripod with me at this time but I should of. The wall of the parking garage is pretty tall. Taller than what I’m used to, so shooting for me was a little difficult. The whole time I was standing on my tipy-toes but like Tim Gunn says, ‘I made it work‘ ūüôā

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I took this right before I left for my trip to Colorado and Utah. Its of the Jefferson Memorial and a big puddle I found on the street right behind it. I distinctly remember trying to walk a different way than I usually do to the Memorial on this day but that meant weaving through a whole bunch of buses and school field trip children to get to it. I know I must of looked crazy because I got so many weird looks. Like why was I kneeling down in the middle of the road? Middle school kids can be so judgey. LOL JK not really. Whatever. I got a cool shot, right?

On a completely different note,¬†tomorrow is the start to a brand new adventure! My friend, Sue and I are about to hop in a car and drive cross county to California. Final destination, San Diego! It’s going to be B-A-N-A-N-A-S. Can’t wait. Here are our¬†stops in case you are somewhere around us or if you have any tips for things to see along the way.

Day 1: Nashville, TN
Day 2: OKC, OK
Day 3: Santa Fe, NM
Day 4: Alamogordo, NM
Day 5: Tucson, AZ
Day 6 & 7: Los Angeles, CA
Day 8,9 & 10: San Diego, CA

I’m most excited about White Sands National Monument. Every picture I’ve seen from that place is BEAUTIFUL. Same with Tucson, AZ. Seguaro National Park is definietly on the to-do list. Now that I think about it, this whole trip is going to be a brand new to me (minus the places in California).¬†Can’t freakin’ wait! A cross country road trip has been something on my vision board for a while now and I can’t believe it’s finally happening. Be sure to check out my instagram stories to follow along on the adventure but most of it will be on my youtube channel when I get back ūüėČ

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Devils Garden in Arches National Park at sunrise. The best part about this entire trail was that we were pretty much by ourselves. Hardly anyone was out there so early in the morning. I felt like I had the whole park to ourselves. But we did run into a few chipmunks, deer, etc. They were cool.

If you’re interested in doing the hike, it’s pretty easy. For the most part the land is flat and the trail itself is well marked. The rock formations were great because they provided some shade underneath that hot sun. However, had I known earlier we would of been able to see so much more than we did. There was kind of a split in the middle of the road around this huge rock. Andrew and I didn’t know which way to go so we kinda decided to just walk back to the car and try out some other trails.

Which leads me to the question, how much research do you guys do before you leave for a trip? I have an idea of the things that I want to see when I visit a new place. I’ll mark them on a map and figure out which is better, sunrise, sunset, or during the day. But I’m not sure if I do enough research like how to get there or how long it will take. I kinda leave to when we arrive at¬†our destination to figure that kinda stuff out. Partly out of laziness but partly because I know things always change. Road closures, construction, etc. Sometimes those things can be hard to predict. For the most part it works, but had I known the Devils Garden trail went a lot further out, I would of been able to see some¬†more really cool arches. Oh well. You live and you learn.

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We arrived in Estes Park, right outside of Rocky Mountain National Park around dinner time. So naturally, our first stop was to get some pizza. OMG you need to try this place called Antonio’s Real New York Pizza. The pizza was outstanding! And believe me, I’ve had a few slices in my day and I really liked this pizza. And to walk off all those calories we headed to Sprague lake right after dinner in Rocky Mountain National Park.

It’s a super easy walk around the lake thats about a mile long. It was perfect because each side of the lake provided some amazing views. Good thing I had my neutral density filter with me because the sunset wasn’t actually as vibrant as this image makes it look. The clouds were looking very nice but the longer exposure by the ND filter really brought out that extra umph of color that it really needed. It also helped that it was a very calm and peaceful evening with not a lot of wind to create ripples in the water. So if you’re a fan of reflection shots, Rocky Mountain National Park has tons of them. From all the lakes to puddles. Everything is just so reflective and beautiful. You would love it.

The settings for this image was F5/6 at 1.6 seconds at ISO 400. I used my 16-35mm wide angle lens to try to capture as much of the scene as I could. I didn’t have my tripod on this one but I managed to find a good ledge to balance this on. The key is to try to get your camera body and lens to stabilize on something to make sure theres no extra shake. If your lens isn’t leaning against something or supported somehow, it probably won’t work out as well.

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If you’re in the DC area, check out the June’s issue of the Washingtonian magazine. Its the best of Washington issue and I have two pictures in there! So freakin’ cool! The first and biggest one is the one featured above. I took it one morning at the Hirshhorn Museum when people were waiting in line for the Yayoi Kusama: Infinity Mirrors exhibit on one of the last days that it was here. They were waiting for day of passes but it’s crazy because I took this around 7a in the morning and there were already so many people there. The light was absolutely amazing and the reflection in the middle as so cool. It was hard not to take the picture. The Washingtonian contacted me and said they were doing a story¬†on lines in DC so I thought that this one would fit perfectly. I especially like all the blue and yellow tones plus the reflection in the windows are pretty awesome as well.

The second image I have in this month’s issue is of the National Gallery of Art’s new roof terrace sculpture by Katharina Fritsch’s titled “Hanh/Cock”. I originally wanted to take a picture of it for Chinese New Year since this year is the sign of the Cock. I think it’s really cool that it ended up in the Washingtonian. This sculpture itself is pretty large and in charge when you see it in person. I don’t know if you can see, but theres a slight shadow of someone in the window. That might give you a comparison of what it’s like to stand right next to it. Oh the jokes that this bird has heard.

Anyways, shout out to Washingtonian for being so awesome. Its always so exciting to see my work published in print. I grew up on the Washingtonian so I’m grateful to be able to contribute to such an awesome publication.