US capitol

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Holy Smokes. 2018 is almost here. I can’t believe it but I’m sooooo excited. 2018 is going to be the best year ever. EVERRRRRRR.

But before the ball drops, I love going through and picking out my favorite images from the past year. I think they’re interesting to see since most of my favorites are probably not your favorite.  And I don’t have a top 10 or anything like that. It’s so hard to narrow it down to 10. I imagine it’s like your parents choosing who their favorite child is. So here it is, in no particular order, here are my 14 favorite image of 2017 from Washington DC.

And if you’re interested, click on each of the images to go back to that original blog post. I think it’d be interesting to see what I had to say about them at the time of taking the images.

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Still remember this day like it was yesterday. It was amazingly foggy and I had spent a good 1.5-2 hours just walking around the National Mall. I was about to call it quits and walk back to my car when I saw the Jefferson Memorial looking like a dream. You know I had to stop and take a few more images.

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The Yayoi Kusama exhibit at the Hirshorrn was a HUGE highlight of 2017. I waited sooo long to see it and was honored to have been able to go twice. This image was from my first visit. I’m still amazed I got to go in the room by myself. Click here to watch my youtube video of the experience.

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Our first real snow of 2017 happened when the cherry blossoms were about to bloom. Oh man, I think this was the first time I really didn’t want it to snow. But in the end, it all worked out for the better.

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YAY for cherry blossoms. You know I had to add at least 1 or 2 in here. I love this particular image because it’s so different from what I usually do. OMG there are people in my images. LOL. But my favorite part is the guy walking right on the sunburst. I was 100% lucky to be able to capture that.

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From one of the best days ever of 2017. The crazy foggy cherry blossom morning at the Tidal Basin.

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Another one from that fog-a-licious day.

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My friend, Del taking in the Lincoln Memorial.

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I think it’s so interesting how the rain drops stayed balled up on top of the succulents after a big rain storm.

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Just a couple of minutes after I took the succulents image, I captured this amazing puddle.

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Triple Rainbow!!! Never would have I imagined to have captured such a cool reflection shot. One of my all time favs.

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I really love how the clouds are in the same shape and form as the branches. And that yellow/gold color *praise hands emoji*

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One of my favorite unexpected finds.

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So thankful for my friend, Christa who took me to this rooftop. Loved being up there!

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My last sunrise of 2017. It was a cold and beautiful one. Just look at that glow 🙂

On Monday, I’ll have my favorite images from travel. Those are my favorite out ’em all!
Have a fun and safe New Years Eve everyone! See ya in 2018!

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Merry Christmas and happy holidays! Which ever holiday you celebrate, I hope you got to spend this past weekend with the ones you love the most.

My holiday celebrations started last Friday and has continued everyday since. It was so great to see so many family members and friends. But I’m not going to lie, it was a pretty hectic weekend with a lot of eating. Diet starts tomorrow! …. or January 2nd 🙂 And I can’t get this song out of my head. What is your favorite holiday song?

I took this image one morning earlier this month. I knew I had to have something prepared for this day on the blog and I wanted to photograph the US Capitol Christmas tree since I already had an image of the National Christmas Tree in front of the White House. Somehow I forgot my tripod so this is completely hand held. I was sitting along the edge of the reflecting pool and held my camera as close to the water as I could get without it getting wet. It was pretty nerve wracking given my previous experiences with water and cameras but I’m glad I was able to get it done. Soon after I captured this moment, all the lights turned off and you weren’t able to see the Christmas Tree at all. I am lucky I got this when I did.

The camera settings for this image is F5.6 at 0.4 seconds and ISO 250 with my Sony A7II and 28-70mm. Pretty impressive for a 0.4 second hand held shot, right? I think so! LOL

Again, Happy Holidays to you! Now is the time to relax and just enjoy the winter season. Have you come up with your 2018 goals yet? I have a few in mind…

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After our first snow of the season, I knew I had to wake up early the next morning and capture the sunrise. Somehow I knew it was going to be a good one. We had 2 days of really grey days so I knew the clouds were going to have to break up and bring in some of the sun light.

But this was not the image I intended to capture. I had every intention of shooting at the Tidal Basin. I thought it would be cool to see how the water did in the snow. Did it freeze over? or was there any snow still on the cherry blossom trees? I dunno. I wasn’t able to drive over there since all the roads around the National Mall was blocked off. I’m not sure why, but I’m thinking it was for some kind of parade or marathon. I’ve tried googling it and still can’t find the answer. Oh well.

So I drove over to the Capitol and figured it would be just as nice. I spent the morning just walking all around the Capitol grounds, blasting my music with no headphones. LOL it was awesome. There was hardly anyone around and it felt like I had the whole Capitol to myself. I felt so free to just walk anywhere I wanted to and was so happy when I stumbled onto this compass. I’ve noticed it before but never saw how reflective it is. I guess the melting snow made for great puddles in here. Love finding hidden gems like this. One thing I didn’t notice while taking this picture was the guy walking in front of the Capitol building. I love how he adds some scale to the whole thing. Yea, the US Capitol building is hugeeee.

My camera settings for this image is F5.6 at 1/80th of a second ISO 160 with my Sony A7II 16-35mm wide angle lens.

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Last but definietly not least, I’m grateful for all of you. You all have made it possible for me to do what I love every single day. There isn’t a day that goes by that I’m not grateful for it. And it blows my mind that you actually take the time out to read my blog and view my pictures everyday. I’m just a girl with a camera. Seriously, THANK YOU!

I took this image in 2012. I remember it very clearly because it was one of the first times I had ever done a long exposure like this. I remember coming home and being so proud that it actually worked. How have times changed. Now I’m taking long exposures every other day. HAHA

My camera settings for this image is F11 at 1/6 seconds and ISO 100 with my Canon 5D Mark II and 24-105mm lens.

Above is an image of a recent project that I had been working on for a private home. The final result is a 44×86″ double framed print. The white frame is meant to look like a regular mat and it will prevent any curling or anything in the future since the print is so large. So cool, right? Unfortunately, like many other projects that I work on, I did not get to see the final product in person. But I did get to see the print before it got framed and it looked excellent. It got installed last weekend and I’m grateful for the family who purchased this to send me a picture.

So out of appreciation of you all, I’d like to offer a discount code for black friday on all my prints. Click the link here and use the discount code: “HappyHolidays” at checkout.

Thank you, Thank you, Thank you for all your kind comments, support and love. They mean the world to me.

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Day 3 of reflections. Check out day 1 and day 2.

Obviously an image of the Lincoln Memorial Reflecting Pool had to be a part of the week long series of reflections. I took this one a couple weeks ago with my friend, Chris. We met up for sunrise and it was forecasted to be a clear day but the predawn colors in the sky were amazing. Usually I hope for clouds for any sunrise image but I feel like the orange color was so vibrant all on their own that it didn’t even need them.

And as I arrived at the reflecting pool I was excited to see that I had got there early enough for them to still have the US Capitol lights on. About 10 minutes later, they were all turned off and it was a lot harder to see it back there. Anyone know what the light schedule to the monuments are like? Next time I’d like to plan for it instead of guessing.

But this same composition has a special place in my heart. It always reminds me of when I first started waking up for sunrise to take pictures. I would make Andrew go with me at first just because I didn’t know what the situation was going to be like. Being a female with expensive camera equipment could be a potentially dangerous situation. But as time went on, I decided that I didn’t need him to go with me anymore. I got comfortable waking up and doing what I needed to do all by myself. So the first time I went by myself to DC, I shot this same exact image and felt super proud of myself.

Now look at me. Sometimes I’ll even wake up before I need to just because I’m so excited to go out to shoot.

The settings for this image is F5.6 for 10 seconds at ISO 200 with my Sony A7II and 16-35mm wide angle lens.

 

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I remember the first time I ever visited the inside of the US Capitol. It blew my mind. Before the visit, I just assumed that everything there was going to be really old looking. Like a building that hasn’t been updated in over 200 years with an overall feeling of cobwebs and dust. But it wasn’t like that at all! I had no idea that it was going to be so beautiful. My favorite was obviously the rotunda. Who doesn’t love a room with an amazing gold ceiling? I love all the light that comes through the windows, the reliefs in the wall and just imagining how many people in our history have walked through these halls. Kinda nuts if you ask me.

But it’s been at least 3 years since I’ve been back.

So I’ve been trying to make it a priority to go again. The first time I went, I had no idea what to expect and I was kinda of caught off guard. This time I knew exactly what I was going to see. I knew to expect something beautiful so I was able to focus my time on composing. It worked out so well. I came out very happy with my images and this one is just the first. I usually don’t try to add people into my images, but I thought in this special situation that it added so much to my story. It was kinda crowded, kinda stuffy but no one even cared because everyone was looking up.

So if you have time, definietly check out the US Capitol tour. It’s only an hour but worth it.

My camera settings for this image is 1/80 seconds at F4.5 and ISO 500. I used my wide angle for this image to capture as much of the ceiling and people as possible.