travel

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Now that the snow has fallen, it’s crazy cold outside and it’s official that the cherry blossoms will not peak this year, it made me think about our trip to Japan around this time last year. Unfortunately while we were on our trip, I missed the peak bloom of blossoms in DC. Double unfortunate that we also missed the peak in Tokyo. We did see some cherry blossoms, but if we really wanted to see it, we should of stayed for a week longer. Oh well. I still loved our visit and was still able to see some beautiful flowers including this one. Do any of you guys know what this one is called? I have no clue and would not even know where to beginning to find out.

I took it in Shinjuku Gyoen National Garden. The perfect place to go if you want to catch any kind of blooms. When you walk through the park, you almost forget you are in a major city. You don’t hear any honking horns or busy streets. You’re in your own little world, walking down paths of diverse garden areas and scenic views. If I had the opportunity, I would of loved to spend sunrise walking around by myself like I do in DC. The best part is that people come here not just to walk around and enjoy the flowers, but they will bring a blanket with a picnic baskets and hangout for a couple of hours. Kinda like what they do at the tidal basin for the cherry blossoms but it’s definietly not as crowded. I feel like when you can sit down and relax like that, you’ll get the full experience of the beautiful sakuras and these unnamed flower I photographed 🙂

By the way, if you missed it, I made a Tokyo guide. Click here if you’d like to see it.

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Shot on the same puddle as this image. Even on a super cold, windy day there will always be people running around the tidal basin. I don’t know how they do it, especially in shorts. Anyways, I saw him running from 100 ft away. I immediately got into position where I thought I could get him and the Washington Monument in the same shot, squatted down low and hoped that it would work out. Luckily it did. This was probably about 20 minutes after the first image was shot though. Thats why this one is way more moodier and darker than the other one. I really like how the guy is almost silhouetted.

In other news, Andrew and I have booked our next trip! We’re going to be flying into Denver and road tripping it to Moab, UT and Rocky Mountain National Park. If you’ve been there, please let me know if you have any recommendations. Hotel, food, photography, whatever. Neither of us have ever been and I’m super excited to explore the mile high city and for our road trip. I know its going to be amazingly beautiful. One of my friends just came back from there and he was telling me that the altitude sickness is real while in Denver. After a quick amazon search, I’m not sure which medicine would be the best for us. So if you have any experience with that, please let me know as well. I never thought I’d get motion sickness but recently there have been times when I’m on a boat and will get pretty ill. I’d like to prevent anything like that from happening on our trip so I can maximize my photography time. Oh YEA!

This is going to be an awesome experience. I’ve always felt like I’ve only been to the coasts and edges of the United States but never anywhere in the middle. Really looking forward to the adventure 🙂

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I know I’ve been posting a lot of the Tidal Basin recently, but thats where I’ve been going lately. Every time I go, I am hoping to see some cherry blossoms. More like wishing and praying. There are a few here and there that have bloomed but this particular morning that I went out the main attraction was definietly the cloudy sunrise. There was this amazing glow that was coming from the horizon that you just couldn’t ignore. However my favorite part of this image is being able to see the Jefferson statue right in the middle of the columns. I also really like the elongated reflection in the water.

Days like this one make me so happy to be a photographer living in the DC metro area. I feel really fortunate to be able to visit these monuments on a regular basis and to see the beauty in them in almost any kind of light. Not a lot of people have the same opportunities so I’m really grateful for mine. Even with all the early morning wake up calls and late nights, when I see a sunrise like this, it makes it completely worth it. But it’d be hard to pick which monument is my favorite monument to photograph. It’s like choosing which puppy is the cutest. They’re all so great and you love them all in such different ways. You can’t actually pick just one. (Was that a weird analogy? Comparing monuments to puppies?)

If you’re interested in knowing my settings on this image they were: f5.6 at 1/5 sec. I shot it on my Sony a7ii with my 16-35mm wide angle lens. If you’d like to know my settings for future images, just let me know in the comments below. If I remember, I’ll try to put them in my blog posts for you.

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This was taken last year in Tokyo Skytree. When I was researching different places to take pictures in Toyko, Skytree was definietly on top of my list. Not just for the amazing views, but also the possibility of photographing people looking at said views. It sounds a bit weird, I know, but I think that some of the more interesting photos are the ones of that include other people enjoying the same things you are.

So here I was, enjoying the beautiful view from 2080′ in the air, when I heard a lot of little voices laughing and talking. I turned around and saw a bunch of little kids with what looked like to be there teacher. It was so cute because all of them were wearing these yellow hats so it was really easy to spot them in a crowd. It immediately reminded me of when I was in elementary school and we’d always go on class field trips to the Smithsonian museums or to the Washington Monument in matching t-shirts.

Not to sound like a creeper, but I followed these kids around for a little bit. I wanted to find the right time so I could photograph them enjoying the views. They finally stopped and all lined up in front of a window as there teacher was showing them something outside. I started to shoot. These two girls in the back must of heard my camera clicking because they immediately turned around with big smiles and gave the international signal for “I’m ready for my close up” by pulling out the peace fingers. Aren’t they so cute? No words or anything were exchanged. Just a little “Arigatou gozaimasu” (thank you very much) from me and a big smile and they kept on moving with the rest of the yellow-hat kids.

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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 🙂