travel

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It’s still crazy to me that 2017 is almost over. I was looking through my instagram feed the other day and I was reminiscing on some of my pics from the past year. I had some really great adventures in 2017 and I’m looking forward to the last couple of days the year. That’s when I do an end of the year recap of my favorite images. It’s going to be really hard to pick just a few but seeing them all displayed in one place is going to be so exciting! It’s funny though because my favorites are not usually other people’s favorites. It’s probably because I have a different emotion connection to the images than others but it’s all good. I love that I can look back at the pictures and just smile.

I’m pretty sure there will be an image or two of Utah on that list. When Andrew and I went to Utah in the early part of summer, we had the best time ever and created some memories that will last a life time. Including our little run in with some feisty elks. OMG that was so scary. LOL. BTW I know now that they were elk and not deer and that story was from Colorado, but Utah and Colorado was all the same trip!

This image is from Dead Horse Point Utah State Park. We got to spend a beautiful sunset there and I would highly recommend anyone else doing so. It was great for sunset because if you’re at the very tip of the park, you can actually follow the light of the sun all around the rim of the bend. It’s absolutely beautiful!

The settings for this image is F/9 at 1/8th of a second and ISO 250 with my Sony A7II and 16-35mm lens.

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Reflections day 4. Man, this is gettin’ easy.
Check out day 1, 2, and 3

I took this image earlier this summer at Rocky Mountain National Park in Colorado. It was an early morning hike around Bear Lake and the water was so still. It was literally like a mirror when I saw it and immediately knew exactly how I wanted to capture it. I knew that I wanted it to look as if it were printed on a piece of paper and you folded it in half, you would see the exact same thing on either side. Kinda of like what you used to do with paint and paper as a little kid but with nothing else seen especially in the corners. I don’t know why but I was paying particular attention to the corners when I was capturing this. I didn’t want to give it any kind of location context.

A majority of the time, I’d probably want something in the foreground or something to divide it up, but not for this particular image. I wanted it to keep it as simple as possible and just enjoy the beauty of nature. Man, can you imagine what this place looks like now? It’d be so cool if the leaves changed color with this reflection. Praise hands emoji!

After I photographed this image, we ended up hiking around to this side of the lake but it was so difficult. The water levels were really high, there was still some snow on the ground (which you can see little bits of), and it was super muddy. Let’s just say the hike didn’t last too much longer after that. I’m really hoping to go back to Colorado in 2018. I seriously fell in love.

The camera settings for this image is F5.6 at 1/250th of a second ISO 160 with my Sony A7II and 28-70mm lens.

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This is the first time I ever done this but this is an iPhone pic! Usually all my images on my blog are from my DSLR cameras but I just LOVED the way that this one turned out.

Isn’t that crazy?

I took it at Reagan airport walking through the security line on our way to Maine. You know how it goes, you have a million and one things in your hands, you want to get everything together and in it’s place before you have to put your stuff in those big grey tubs and security is staring you down extra hard. It was an early morning flight so the sunlight was pouring through the windows. Luckily I was at the right place at the right time with my phone in my back pocket. I pulled that sucker out so fast, took this shot and just kept it moving. I had all my DSLR camera equipment in my backpack but it was just easier to take a quick shot with my phone. It wasn’t until I was sitting at the gate and I looked at the image and thought, “WOW, that’s patriotic!”

From now on, I’m going to try to fly out of DCA as much as I can. The airport itself is just so beautiful. There’s so much to take pictures and you can’t beat the view at take off. 

So what do you think? Would you want to see more of my iPhone images or just keep it strictly DSLRs? To be honest, I don’t take much with my phone but in the rare occasion I do, I wouldn’t mind posting it on here.

Camera settings on this image was F2.2 at 1/125th of a second ISO 32 on my Apple iPhone 6. Weird that I was able to see that right? HAHA!

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So excited to see that fall has FINALLY arrived in Shenandoah National Park. I’ve been waiting for all of October for the leave to change. Except the visibility was very low while we were there.

Yesterday my friend, Larry and I met really early in the morning to head to the Thorton Gap entrance at Shenandoah National Park. As I was pulling out of my neighborhood I could see that it was already a little foggy  where we live but the more west we went, the foggier it got. It was so exciting. Y’all know how much I love shooting in the fog. It’s my favorite weather to shoot in! But once we got there, it was SUPER foggy. Like whiteout. Sunrise is around 7:20 but we couldn’t really see any kind of daylight until 7:25a. The visibility was probably less than 100ft. At some points it looked like cars were coming out of no where because you couldn’t even see their headlights until they were really close by. It was kinda nuts but totally awesome. I’m pretty sure we said “wow, crazy” about 200 times each as we were driving through the park.

The best part was that it smelled like fog. You know that smell? Yea, the smell of happiness.

Luckily, Larry is a sony man as well and just recently purchased the 100-400mm lens. He was kind enough to let me use it for a little while, even after knowing my tripod story. I was shooting it handheld. It was a little bit heavier than I am used to, but it was still very easy to capture sharp images. I felt like a sports photographer the entire time. LOL.

My camera settings for this image is 1/60th of a second at F5.6 at ISO 1000 with my Sony A7II and Larry’s 100-400mm. The focal length of this is at 282mm.

 

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So you know that one of Sue’s highlights from the trip was the Ocean Path. If I had to pick mine, it would have been the airplane tour we did on our last night in Maine with Acadia Air Tours. We booked the “airvan” for 35 minutes at sunset. It was perfect because the plane was actually built for sightseeing.

But if you have never been on a scenic airplane tour, I have 2 photo tips for you:

1. Constantly check your images. The beginning of the flight was perfect. I had the correct settings to make sure I wasn’t getting any motion blur in my images. But as the sun was setting towards the end of our flight, I did not realize how much the light had changed.  I should have bumped up my ISO or something because all the images towards the end of the flight were so blurry. I wasn’t upset or anything, I still had a rockin’ time on the flight. Just check your images as you go!

2. Zoom lens all the way. I brought my 70-200mm just in case, but didn’t feel like I needed it at all. We were only up 2000ft max in the air and I was still able to get pretty good zoom-age with my 28-70mm. I say zoom instead of a wide angle because there were times when there would be a lot of sun glare on the windows. Especially when we were faced a certain way, it was very difficult to avoid it. At least with the zoom lens, I was able to avoid those spots as opposed to a wide angle or something that would have captured it all. Sue was taking pics with her phone and said that the sun glare was really difficult to avoid the entire trip. All of her photos had at least a spot.

So if you’re in Acadia National Park and want to see it from a different point of view or even have a totally different experience, I’d highly recommend Acadia Air Tours. Bernard was our pilot and he was so nice. It was very easy to talk to him and I didn’t feel like I was bothering him with the million and one questions I was asking 🙂  And if you do book a trip with them, tell them I sent ya!

This was taken at the beginning of our flight and my camera settings for this image is 1/25th of a second at F5.6 ISO 640.

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Somehow I’m lucky enough to live right in the middle of two awesome airports, Dulles International Airport and Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport.  But for some reason, I’m always flying out of Dulles. So when the rare opportunity comes up to fly out of Reagan, I take FULL ADVANTAGE! I do my research and try to figure out where I can sit on the plane to make sure I get the birds eye view of the National Mall. If you want to do the same, read on…

I know you can see the monuments if you’re flying north of DC and about 50% sure you can see them when you’re flying west of the city. You definietly won’t see them if you’re flying south. So if you’re flying north, try to sit on the right hand side of the plane. Obviously, when you’re flying back to DC, sit on the left hand side. If you aren’t able reserve those seats, you’ll still be able to get pretty cool views of the Pentagon and Air Force Memorial on the opposite side so be on the look out for those. Either way, window seats are key! And have your camera ready right at take off or when you are descending. It’s  surprising how fast the memorials will pop into your window. You’ll see them as you’re climbing your way up to the clouds or when you’re right about to touch down.

In order to take this image, I was sitting in the window seat, but I had to lean into the middle seat to capture it. My intention was to capture the light coming from the window and use it to frame the monuments. I really like this image, but I also wish I went a little closer to capture only the monuments. Oh well! There’s always next time:

My settings for this image is 1/3200 of a second at F/8 ISO 1000 with my 16-35mm wide angle lens and Sony A7II.