Virginia

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Happy Happy New Year!!! YAYAYAYAY!!!! 2018!

In 2017, I set a goal to travel for photo at least once a season. Mission accomplished. Here are my favorite travel images from 2017 in chronological order.

Click on the pictures to read my original blog post.

hofn, beach, sunrise, water, black sand, iceland, south east, town, Höfn í Hornafirði, fishing town, mountains, fog, clouds,

Iceland, you beautiful country. I love you. I’ll see you again soon, k?

black sand beach, reynisfjara, vik, iceland, travel, europe, western europe, nordic, socks, waterproof, waves, how to dress, cold, beach,

Captured in the middle of the day with my 10-stop neutral density filter. I love that thing. I keep it in my camera bag at all times.

iceland, vik, south iceland, black sand beach, sea stacks, birds, waves, water, cold, europe, travel, blue, mood, rocks, nordic, island, viking,

Took this one just a few hours after the previous image but on the other side of the sea stacks. Crazy how the different point of view changes so much.

iceland, travel, horses, icelandic, island, travel, wind, winter, rain, airplane, golden circle, Reykjavik, fences, road trip, driving, short, hairy, 16-35mm, wide angle, 70-200mm, zoom, sony

One of my favorite parts about Iceland, the horses! They’re so sweet.

I’m not sure if you noticed or not but once I got back from Iceland, I decided to work on my blog even more. Yes, I still post new images every weekday, but I’m taking the time out to write longer and more thoughtful blog posts. I just thought that an interesting change from this trip that I wanted to note.

meadowlark botanical gardens, nova parks, northern virginia, vienna, va, koi fish, gazebo, pond, blossoms, spring, flowers, cherry blossoms, koi, japanese fish, swim, bread, feed, food, outdoors, afternoon, walk, stroll, visit, see, camera settings, motion,

I captured this image in Virginia at Meadowlark Botanical Gardens. That counts as travel, right? My favorite part of this image is that little ripple the fish on top is making with his tail.

utah, moab, arches national park, devils garden, trail, trail head, rock formations, sunrise, shrubs, nature, landscape, mighty 5, hikes, research, plan, travel, vacation, southwest, america, usa, national park,

Arches National Park in Utah. This was one of the first images I captured at sunrise. I just love how the sun burst balances out the red rocks on the right hand side.

colorado, co, visit, travel, rocky mountain national park, antonios pizza, estes park, sunset, dinner, pizza, hike, trail, lake, sprague, tripod, camera settings, neutral density, nd, filter, tripod, reflection, mountains

I fell in love in the spring and it was with Colorado. Man o man, I gotta go back in 2018.

Rocky Mountain National Park, Colorado, co, travel, visit, sprague lake, sunset, mountains, trees, national park, trails, hike,

Rocky National Park is one of my favorites. It’s so hard to take a bad picture.

Falling Springs, Covington, VA, virginia, road trip, cross country, waterfall, landscape, blue water, rest stop, rest area, water, trees, leaves, branches, east coast, america, hike, rope swing, summer

The beginning of our epic cross country road trip. That was one adventure that I’ll never forget.

covington, va, virginia, road trip, travel, visit, waterfall, views, summer, swim, hot, alleghany county,

Taken on a tripod and a 10 second timer. I must have looked crazy constantly running back and forth in my flip flops. LOL oh well. Wasn’t the first time.

Saguaro, cactus, national park, tucson, arizona, mountain district, signal hill trail, east end, mountain district, cactus forest drive, desert, landscape, foreground, green, heat wave, photographer, photography, sunset

My first time seeing saguaro cactuses in real life. They are amazingly beautiful and so big. Now that I think of it, I should of taken another self portrait like I did in the previous image here.

Cadillac Mountain, Acadia National Park, sunrise, maine, bar harbor, north atlantic, east coast, highest point, october, chilly, wind, weather, temperature, clouds, clear sky, photographer, photo, photography, visit, national park

Visited Maine for the first time in October. I love how spacious and airy this image is.

Bass Harbor Head Light, acadia national park, maine, east coast, sunrise, neutral density filter, long exposure, climb, tripod, sony, a7ii, southwest, blue hill bay, mount desert island,

It was hard to find this perspective but once I did, it was totally worth the early morning wake up call and the climb down slippery rocks.

That’s it. Those were my favorite travel images of 2017. Can’t wait to capture even more in the new year.
In case you missed it, I did the same thing with just Washington DC photos. Click here to check them out.

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I did not take this image this past snow that we got. I took it a couple of years ago but still really, really enjoy it and figured why not post it? Theres something so peaceful and serene about it. I especially like looking at that platform in the middle of the water and envisioning so much summer fun happening there with floaties and belly flops. Definietly not winter fun. Or at least that’s not my idea of winter fun LOL.

As I was editing this image in Photoshop, I was wondering if I should leave that little bit of yellowish colored grass showing on the right hand of the image. It’s not the most attractive looking grass but in the end, I decided to leave it. Its only a small amount but I love how it shows that this is actually a color image and not black and white. It’s a little detail that could be distracting but I think it tells so much more of the story of what it’s actually like being at this lake.

I also love seeing all the curves in the lake and if you look closely enough, you’ll even see a house or two. This is taken at a neighborhood lake in McLean, Virginia but if you asked me, it looks like it was taken straight out of a movie like Frozen or something. I dunno, I just can’t keep my eyes off of it. I love it so much. I could totally see myself sitting on that grass and staring at this scene for hours. It’d be awesome if I could fly my drone here too. Ohh the possibilities.

My camera settings for this image is F6.3 at 1/160th of a second and ISO 250 with my Sony A7II and 16-35mm wide angle.

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We had our very first snow fall of the season over the weekend! It was perfect. It snowed all day Saturday, just one or two inches. Enough to stick on cars and the grass a bit but nothing on the roads. No mess to clean up, no fuss to worry about. Just the way I like it!

My friend, Larry and I went out to Great Falls Park to check it out. It’s been a while since I’ve photographed the park and was really looking forward to shooting it in the snow. It reminded me of my high school days when I first got interested in photo. At that time, I didn’t know how to drive so my sweet mom drove me in the snow so I could get the shots that I wanted. And wait for me in the cold to photograph the trees and water. It’s crazy how things come full circle. I remember being really proud of those Great Falls shots in high school. LOL how time flies. I bet if you asked her today, she’d still remember doing that. SHOUT OUT TO MY MOM! I LOVE YOU AND APPRECIATE YOU! Even though you know I blog every day but still don’t read them.

I am really looking to photographing more snow this season. I heard we’re going to get a lot this year. I was sort of looking at this Great Falls Park photoshoot as the prequel. So many possibilities to shoot. And I’m really hoping for some drone shots thrown in there too! Let me know, what’s your favorite weather to shoot? Mine is fog but snow could be a close second. Similar effects but more cold.

The settings for this image is F4.5 at 4 seconds and ISO 160 with my Sony A7II and 16-35mm lens.

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I be dronin’. LOL.

We had gorgeous weather here in Virginia over the Thanksgiving weekend. What could be better than spending that time outdoors? So Andrew and I decided to grab the drone and practice flying. Checking out the maps, we decided to go to Reston. I was looking forward to capturing some lake images but once I got to our location, it was the trees that really caught my attention. I can not believe that it is almost December and the trees are still this colorful and hanging on. It seems kinda late doesn’t it?

Either way, I loved the way my very first drone image turned out. It’s actually a small piece of a larger image but that word “slow” really caught my attention. With some fancy cropping and rotating, I came up with this.

Practicing my flying skills is always a good thing, but I also need to practice my composition skills with the new point of view. It’s a totally new way to see the world and I need to know when to fly up higher or get down low and when there’s too much in the frame. I think that was my problem when I viewed the images on my computer. There’s just too much going on and you have no idea what to focus on.

Regardless, I’m loving my mavic. Every opportunity I get, I want to fly. I was even showing Andrew how to fly too. He didn’t take any pics but I bet if he did, it would some how turn out blurry. He’s just that good. LOL

My camera settings for this image is F2.2 at 1/100th of a second and ISO 100 with my DJI Mavic Pro. Now that I think of it, I need to update my gear page with my new flying camera 🙂

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Day 2 of things I’m grateful for: I bought myself a DJI Mavic Pro! I’m so hyped.

Long story short, I flew my cousin’s drone 2 years ago and crashed it within 2 minutes. Getting it down from the tree and having it repaired was the biggest nightmare of my life. It was so horrible that it frightened me from ever wanting to ever fly again. Plus there aren’t a lot of places to fly around the DC area, so why bother?

But then instagram. Man, instagram and all your cool images of drone photography!!! You got me interested again! So I decided to bite the bullet and purchase a Mavic. Luckily, my friend Andy, had an extra one so I was able to get a pretty cool deal on it.

So I watched a couple of youtube videos, read parts of the instruction manual and felt a little more confident to fly. Over the weekend I met up with my friend, Paul in Manassas and was able to fly without crashing. That’s a huge win in my book. It wasn’t nearly as bad as I thought it was going to be. Now I’m hooked. I had soooo much fun flying and just seeing the world from a totally different perspective. It was so awesome. To quote Andy, “yeah makes you hate walking to take pics lol”. Sooo true. HAHA!

For my day 2 of gratitude, I am extremely grateful to have gotten over my fear of flying drones and sooo excited to capture new images. This image is my very first selfie flying the drone. I texted it to my mom and she was like “what is that?” I know I look really small. But we’re working on baby steps here!

The camera settings for this image is F2.2 at 1/180th of a second at ISO 100 with my DJI Mavic Pro.

All photos available for print and licensing >

Sometimes I’ll get into these zones and edit a whole bunches of images all at the same time, store them onto my desktop folder called “haven’t blogged yet” and then totally forget about them. This is the case with this image. I took it last week when it was crazy foggy at Shenandoah National Park and didn’t even bother posting it on instagram or anywhere else. Umm whoops?

In order to get into these zones, I’ll put on my ear phones and not even think about anything else other than the music I’m listening to and the image in front of me. It’s so fun. Although if you were looking through my window I’d look like a weirdo because I’ll be bopping my head and flinging my pointer finger around to the beat of the music. HAHA

To be honest, I’m probably done with Shenandoah National Park for the season. I’m going to try to concentrate on photographing more local areas to me like Great Falls Park and DC for the rest of the fall time. It’s not that I don’t love going, it’s just exhausting waking up so early in the morning, spending a couple hours there and then driving back. I usually won’t be home until the afternoon and it feels like most of the day has gone. But who knows? Maybe there will be a sunset shoot or night time shoot in my future? We’ll see!

My camera settings for this image is F5.6 at 1/40th of a second and ISO 250 with my Sony A7II and my 16-35mm wide angle lens.