Virginia

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This is what I’m talking about!!!

Another image that I shot way back in 2011 in Great Falls Park and at the time I shot this, I don’t think I knew how to edit very well. Or maybe I was just scared to edit it because it would not turn out the way I wanted. Or who knows what the case was but I never edited this image. Isn’t that crazy? I could tell by the other images from this day that it was foggy! I dunno. I was probably intimidated.

But now that I’ve gained more skills and confidence in my photo editing, I am so glad I found this image again. I love it! It really embodies why I love fall colors so much. The red/warm tones are just so welcoming. I can’t wait for the crisp cool air to come. And pumpkin flavored everything in the grocery stores!

Back in 2011, I was strictly shooting and processing my images using high dynamic range (HDR) editing. It’s been at least 3 years since the last time I’ve done this. I’m not sure what you’d call my editing style now, but I definietly have developed a method to produce images that I’m really proud of. If you’d like to see more about how I edit my images, check out these videos.

So the camera settings for this image was 1.3 seconds at F/18 and ISO 800 on my Canon 5D Mark II. I can’t see on my metadata but I’m positive that I shot this on my tripod. Not only because it was more than a second exposure but because everything that I shot at this time was on a tripod. It could have been a super bright, sunshiny day and I would still shoot on my tripod. Even thinking about how much I’d shoot on my tripod makes me grateful for my photo process and see how much I’ve learned and grown from it. Don’t get me wrong, I love my tripod and still shoot with it but only when it’s needed and it’s not needed for every single click.

 

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Not to say that I like one better than the other, but another favorite place to shoot fall colors is Shenandoah National Park. Just driving along sky line drive is so peaceful and relaxing. I never have a plan of what I’m going to shoot, I just go. And each time I go is so different.

What’s crazy is that I shot this in 2011! Lately I’ve been going through some older photos. Like way back. And I still remember shooting this. This particular morning was foggy. You know me and how excited I get with fog. But you can’t even tell that the leaves are changing or anything. I just love how the fog washed away all the details and all you see are blurred lines. It sort of reminds me of an abstract painting with an influence of Mark Rothko. The small hint of purple and pink in the middle of the image really draws my attention.

My camera settings for this image was F/18 at 1/20th of a second ISO 125 on my Canon 5D Mark II.

On a side note, I still get quite a few questions about my 5D Mark II. They’re mostly if I still use it and the answer is not really. The only time I really use it may be shooting fireworks. I just trust the camera remote on the 5D Mark II way more than the one on the Sony A7II. I feel like in that “high pressure” situation, (high pressure meaning, I can’t easily re-do it) I’d rather use that camera. Otherwise, it’s straight Sony equipment for me. I still have my Canon body and lenses sitting on the shelf. I may sell it in the future, but I’m not sure. We just have so many memories together that I don’t know if I’d want to give that away.

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Hey Hey Hey! Guess what today is?! It’s my birthday! Virgo baby! I’d be lying if I said I was one of those people who don’t make a big deal out of their birthdays because I DO! I love my birthday. What other time do you get to publicly declare how awesome you are without getting weird looks? Plus theres birthday cake. And I love birthday cake. Especially on a Tuesday. With extra frosting. And ice cream on the side 🙂 Hopefully there will be some french fries today too.

I’m also really proud of the fact that today is Michael Jackson’s birthday as well. Birthday twins! RIP. Two creative geniuses born on the same day. HAHA JK about me being a creative genius. See, I can say stuff like that because today is my birthday 🙂

Anyways… I took this shot a couple of years ago after a summer storm in the DC area. It was a crazy evening because the storm ended right around sunset. I wasn’t expecting much because I thought the sunset wouldn’t have had time to shine through but then the rainbow popped up. We were there just in time. The glow from the sun and the clouds made this an even more incredible scene. I just love the red/orangey hues contrasted with the blue skies. I feel lucky that I was able to even witness it, let alone photograph it. I just remember being really, really happy when it was all over. Just a few minutes later the storm clouds kept rolling in and another storm was hit the Marine Corps Memorial . I got wet but it was totally worth it. Nothing makes me happier than to see colorful skies like this.

My camera settings for this image was F/22 at 1 second ISO 64 on a tripod.

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If you’ve never been, then I’d highly recommend visiting the Holocaust Museum in Washington DC. It’s not a Smithsonian museum so you have to pay for admission but it’s totally worth it. They do an excellent job of provoking emotions out of you that you’d never expect. While walking through, I felt anger, sadness, confusion and most of all disbelief. Especially when you’re walking through the Tower of Faces. This is a shot looking directly up in the center of the tower. Luckily, I was there when no one else was around so I was able to take my time and make sure everything was aligned. But to imagine all these people, suffering and with such sadness is so overwhelming. I mean this tower is so tall and there are so many faces in here. It’s sad to think that this was just a small portion of the people who actually lived the holocaust.

I really think it’s important to learn from our history. Mostly so we don’t repeat our same mistakes. We can do so much better and we should. I just don’t understand how some people can have so much hatred in their hearts.

Anyways, the settings for this image is F6.3 at 1/13th of a second ISO 160. I used my wide angle lens for this shot because I wanted to make sure I could get as much of the wall space as I could. Kneeling down on the floor helped as well. In post processing, I added a dark vignette around the edges to really emphasize the mood of the tower. I’m hoping the light in the center can symbolize the light at the end of a dark tunnel.

If for any reason you are scared, just know that I was too. But these days it seems like its scarier on the streets than in a museum. More peace. More love.

 

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Last week, I published the video from our road trip. Did you see it? I’m super happy with the way that it turned out. If you haven’t already, click here to watch.

The most surprising comments and questions that I got was in response to the waterfalls in the very beginning of the video. It was surprising to me because it seemed like not a lot of people knew about it. To be honest, I didn’t know about either until I started researching the for the cross country road trip. There was tons of information about it on tripadvisor.com. I’m so glad we stopped here. It was the perfect rest stop for lunch and to stretch out our legs a bit from the drive.

So this waterfall is calling Falling Springs. It’s 80ft tall, so it’s pretty massive. My favorite part about it is that you can walk behind the waterfall and get some cool perspectives. We didn’t do it this time because I was afraid to get wet and then have to sit in the car all the way to Nashville, TN in wet clothes. I’ll be more prepared next time I visit. Second favorite part was the area above the waterfall. As you could see in the video, the water was super blue. Almost like we were in Puerto Rico or something but super surprising since we were only in Virginia. Next time I visit, you better believe I’ll be the first person on that rope swing!

I also go a few questions about trespassing. Apparently, people aren’t allowed to go near the waterfall and you could actually get tickets for jumping the gate. I did see a sign for trespassing while we were there, but it was kinda hidden behind branches and leaves. But the funny part was that the sign was right near the entrance to the waterfall and it was wide open. We didn’t really think much of it and just went right on through. There were plenty of other people enjoying the water too, so I don’t know…

If you plan on visiting, I’m sure you’d love it. But if you get in trouble for it, you don’t know me 🙂