US capitol

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I hope you don’t mind but there are going to be a lot of flowers on my blog from now til about June. LOL. The cherry blossoms are starting to look real nice around the city and I’m really looking forward to getting out there and shooting them. For now, I’m enjoying all the other flowers that are popping up. These flowers are actually the same ones as the ones I captured in the snow. Turns out they weren’t cherry blossoms after all. LOL they look so different covered in all that cold white stuff.

As I was out shooting this, I was thinking to myself how nice and peaceful it was. It’s probably because I was just doing what I love, with my ear phones in listening to my favorite music and just enjoying the early morning air. There weren’t a lot of people around so I felt so free to try different compositions and ideas with my images. Thats when it came to me. I have a new goal for this year’s cherry blossom season. I want to capture the cherry blossoms in other places around the city other than the Tidal Basin. Don’t get me wrong though. I’ll still be down by the water and monuments, I just want to spend that extra time in other places too.

If you have not seen this already, the US Capitol came out with a map showing exactly where cherry blossoms are blossoming around the grounds. It inspired me to further research other places. I have a couple in mind already but if you know of any other places where there’s some good cherry blossoms, please let me know!

My camera settings for this image is F9 at 1/8th of a second and ISO 500 with my Sony A7II 28-70mm lens.

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Days have been going by so fast lately. Don’t you think? Or is it just me? Even though the days are longer, I swear I wake up in the morning and the next thing I know it’s 2p. If I really thought about it I think I took this image this past weekend but when I looked at my calendar, it was really from three weeks ago! That’s so crazy.

I captured this image at the IGDC sunrise meet up. It was a super cold morning and with no clouds in the sky. Usually those are the kind of days that I would rather sleep in (and by sleeping in I mean sleeping until 7a on a weekend) but I knew I would have had a great time shooting with my friends. I left my camera in my backpack for the most part. I was enjoying the conversations more than anything else. But as everyone was wrapping up and leaving, I noticed the sun burst peaking out of the US Capitol building.  So I shot it and didn’t really think much of it. It wasn’t until I got home and looked at the images on my computer did I realize I captured the reflection of the sun burst. How freakin’ cool is that?

Now that I think about it, I think it would be even cooler if I got some seagulls or something flying in the image and got a reflection of that as well. It would be really nice to have some kind of foreground element to this image. Oh well, there’s always next time. I’ll just have to keep that in my to-shoot list.

The camera settings for this image is F/22 at 1/50th of a second at ISO 200 with my Sony A7II and 16-35mm wide angle lens handheld.

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This image! This image was taken just a few minutes before I took this one. Do you see how the yellow glow from the fog just made us walk down that path? It kinda felt like you were in the movie, ‘Ghost’ where that light shines on you and you know it’s your time to go. LOL. But definitely not as serious.

Fun fact about Ghost: My mom used to sing Unchained Melody  ALL THE TIME on the karaoke machine while I was growing up. I could probably sing you the whole song without even listening to the music because she sang it that much. And it will sound almost the same as the Righteous Brothers. LOL JK. It will be better.

Obviously my favorite part of this image is the fog that is coming out of the trees. I love looking at that one section of the image and then it leads my eye to the person walking next to the reflecting pool. I don’t know why but it just makes everything seem so big, especially compared to that person. The 70-200mm lens that I was using definietly helped with the compression and made the scale look that exaggerated.

This winter has been great for fog and crazy gloomy weather like that. I wonder what it will bring for spring. So far it’s been so cold that it doesn’t feel like the seasons have changed at all. The cherry blossoms have now been pushed back to expected peak date 8-12th of April. Hopefully it will actually bloom at that time but who really knows with this crazy weather. In all honesty though, spring can’t come soon enough.

My settings for this image is F5.6 at 1/640th of a second at ISO 200 with my Sony A7II and 70-200mm lens handheld.

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The second day of spring and we finally get some snow. So funny how that happened. But I welcome you, snow with open arms although you should have come last week. But it’s whatever. I’ll take what I can get.

I was so excited to get out there and shoot. I’ve been waiting for this day for about 3 months now and it finally happened. I met up with my friend, Paul, and we decided to head over to the US Capitol and check out the scene around there. I had seen some people posting images of the Capitol dome and cherry blossoms so I wanted to see if we could find them to see what they looked like in the snow. Mission accomplished. I’ll post an image of them soon.

After walking around for a while, Paul and I headed to the Rayburn House Office Building to warm up a bit and use the facilities since the US Capitol was closed. While walking around I noticed a whole bunch of men in suits looking at me. Then I realized, oh, they must be looking at my sweater that said “Mo’ Money Mo’ Puppies”. Which I feel like is a great motto to live by.

So as we were walking out I spotted this beautiful puddle right outside of the building. I knew I had to capture this image quickly because I really wanted to have a pop of color and the red taxi cab was driving by. I love how it turned out and it was totally by luck.

One good thing about this snow is that it should not effect the cherry blossoms. One bad thing about the snow is that it may kill off the magnolias that were already starting to bloom 🙁 That makes me so sad. I didn’t get a really good opportunity to photograph them.

Next year, magnolias. For sure.

My camera settings for this image is F11 at 1/125th of a second at ISO 200 with my 16-35mm wide angle lens and Sony A7II.

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So it’s been one week since I decided to delete instagram off my phone. To be honest, I never expected all the kind comments and emails. I appreciate it sooo so much. You have no idea. Everyone has been extra supportive but I have decided that Ill download Instagram again for the Cherry Blossoms at the latest. Don’t get me wrong though out of the 7 sunrises that have happened since my instabreak, I’ve gone out to shoot 4 times. So even though I’m not documenting it all on social media, I’m still at it as much as I can.

What have I learned from the break? I spend entirely too much time staring at my phone! I don’t need to catch up with my friends by seeing what they’re doing on the internet. I can simply call them or text them and find out what’s been going on straight from the horse’s mouth and its so much better that way. I’ve also learned to be more present. At times I’ll be walking around and think to myself, what should my next instastory be? or this would be great for an instastory. This past weekend while I was walking around I thought, wow that tree is beautiful, I’m just going to take a picture of it because I like it. No one else has to see it, but me.

Now I’m not sure if this has any correlation or not, but I’m also taking the time to learn more too. I’ve been consuming so many youtube videos, listening to audiobooks and just reading in general. I’ve been learning a lot about mindset, wealth and photoshop tutorials. It’s been great!

Overall, I am so grateful for the break. It was definietly a recharge and I feel more inspired than ever. I do miss instagram and I’ll be honest, I have checked it out once or twice on my desktop computer which I justified by saying, it’s not really the same LOL. So this is just a thank you so much for all your support. I’ll be back soon and probably by the end of the week! As of now, I’m not in a rush. Instagram will always be there 🙂

PS that tree I was talking about was a cherry blossom tree in Alexandria, VA. They’re starting to pop up in different places and I’m so excited!

My camera settings for this image is F8 at 1/8th of a second at ISO 500 with my Sony A7II and 16-35mm wide angle len handheld.

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Not every photo shoot turns out well. Sometimes I’ll go out and not even pull out my camera and just end up walking around aimlessly. Sometimes I’ll snap a few pics but know that they won’t be my favorites. Other times the images need a little creativity in post processing and I feel like thats what happened with this image.

I went out one morning last week hoping for a colorful sunrise but ended up with some very blue, cloudy skies. The good news is that I found a new puddle and I’m really looking forward to capturing this same scene during a nice sunrise. There are a lot of puddles all around the US Capitol. So many great reflections to be found but I think what makes this one so unique is the fact that you can still see the US Capitol and some car trails to go in front of it. Very cool, if you ask me.

It was a little difficult to capture. Luckily I carry all my extra batteries and memory cards in this cheap, Forever21 makeup bag that is made of entirely plastic. I emptied the entire contents into my backpack and placed it in the middle of the puddle so that I could use it as a resting place for my camera without it getting wet. The key to this image was to get as low as possible and that was basically sitting on top of the puddle.

I liked the way that the image turned out but I thought that rotating it made it look even cool. It sort of adds an interesting element to it and reminds me of those ink blot tests. What do you see actually see in this image?

My camera settings for this image is F11 at 6 seconds with ISO 125 on my Sony A7II and 16-35mm wide angle lens.