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Now that our Caribbean vacation is just a few days away, I thought it’d be appropriate to post about Iceland. LOL. I don’t know what it is about Iceland that makes me want to keep going back. But I’m pretty sure I’m not the only one who feels this way. Everyone who I know who’s been there has been more than once. I’ve been twice but I would like to go back asap.

  1. because I still haven’t seen a great display of northern lights
  2. because I still haven’t gone to the northern part of the island
  3. Last time I was there, we tried to go into an ice cave but it got cancelled because of rain and I would LOVEEEEE to photograph one.
  4. because every single corner of the island is amazing and so photogenic
  5. I had the best smoked salmon of my life on my last trip and can’t wait to eat even more

The list goes on and on. Plus I didn’t even mention the horses! And you know me and fluffy cute animals. So hopefully I can make that happen asap. Or at least when I return from the beach 🙂

But this image was from my last trip to Iceland in the beginning of last year. I remember we weren’t planning on stopping here but ended up getting out of the car because it was so beautiful. It was pretty cool too because we were the only ones on this side of the beach. Everyone else was on the other side of the cliffs. I brought my tripod out with me so that I could get those silky smooth water with my neutral density filter. I loved the way it turned. This image was originally a horizontal image that I cropped to vertical. I think it’s much more dynamic this way.

My camera settings for this image is at F6.3 at 2 seconds and ISO 80 with my Sony A7II and 16-35mm wide angle lens.

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Last weekend was another adventure weekend. This time was at Lake Anna, Virginia. For the past 3 years, my family has rented a lake house and we would have tons of fun in the water. This past weekend was my first attempt at wake surfing and I had a blast! Mostly because I shocked myself and got up on my very first try. I know I had to have been standing for at least a minute. It was funny because I had spent so much time worrying about how I would get up that once I was up I had no idea what to do next. There is a video of it, but in true Andrew fashion, there’s a finger in the corner of the video!!! I mean, how does that even happen? I swear he must do it on purpose… Anyways I was able to go a few more times and I got better and better at it. Luckily there are no fingers in those videos.

This image is of my friend, Nando. He’s way better at wake surfing, snowboarding and all those kind of things than I am. It was fun to photograph this though. I never thought about the cool angles you could get from the back of the boat. It makes me want to go back again just so I can photograph more surf. This image was taken about 10 minutes before it started thunder storming. Man I wish that rain held off because it rained for the rest of our trip. I would have loved to fly the drone during these wake surfing sessions. I was able to get a little bit of fly time from land, but the boat would have been awesome. Next time, Lake Anna!

My camera settings for this image is F5.0 at 1/320th of a second at ISO 250 with my Sony A7II and 28-70mm lens.

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Whether it is sunrise or sunset, I have a group of places I usually default to depending on the time of day. The Martin Luther King Jr memorial is not my usual sunset spot. Actually, I don’t know if I’ve ever taken a photograph here at any other time of day besides sunrise. The only reason being is that I know it gets packed with tour buses as the day goes on and I try my best to avoid that.

So a few weeks ago I got commissioned to take some pictures of the memorial. I was waiting for a cloudy day because I knew the sky would take up most of the image. The previous days had been too cloudy though. So cloudy to the point where it almost looked like a cloudless sky because there were no details in the clouds at all. Just straight up grey. Until finally I was driving around, running some errands when the sky started to open up. I knew that sunset would probably be my only chance of getting the image I wanted, so I took my chances and headed straight to the Tidal Basin.

I was correct in the fact that there were bus loads of people all around the memorial. But I was also correct in the fact that the sky was going to be amazing that day! This was not the image I was commissioned for, but to be honest, I think this one is better! I love the way the way the colors in the sky are casted in the clouds. Maybe I should add the Martin Luther King Jr Memorial to my sunset list instead of sunrise. LOL, what do you think?

My camera settings for this image is F5.6 at 1/200th of a second at ISO 800 (handheld) with my Sony A7II and 16-35mm wide angle lens.

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Yesterday’s sunrise was amazing. I checked my weather app the night before and it looked very promising. So I was excited to get out to the Tidal Basin, shoot sunrise and check on the status of the cherry blossoms.

You can see in this image that they are budding. I may have seen one or two trees that had a couple of blossoms on them but for the most part they looked like this. They definietly won’t be blooming this week. Hopefully by the end of next week. However the color in the sky and the cherry blossoms were not my main focus once I arrived. It was all the flooding that was on the sidewalks! There was so much water everywhere. A lot of the southern part of the Tidal Basin, close to the Franklin Delano Roosevelt Memorial, had large puddles and some were so big that they were impassable. It had got to the point where I really regretted my decision of wearing sneakers instead of rain boots. It made the grass all muddy and overall a really swampy situation.

I’ve seen the Tidal Basin flood before, but there had always been a reason. This day for example was right after we had a huge thunderstorm so obviously it was flooded. This day was crazy foggy and there was a lot of moisture in the air so I’m assuming that’s why it flooded. But we haven’t had any rain or snow in almost a week. There really is no reason why the sidewalks should have been flooded like they were. It’s bananas.

So if you’re like me and want to do something about it, check out the Trust for the National Mall’s website so we can help protect the Tidal Basin and Cherry Blossoms.

The camera settings for this image is F5.6 at 1/40th of a second and ISO 500 with my Sony A7II and 16-35mm wide angle lens.

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Earlier this week I had the pleasure of attending the Artechouse‘s preview event for their latest installation called “Sakura Yume | Cherry Blossom Dream”. It definietly hyped me up for the real Cherry Blossoms blooming later this month!

One of my favorite things about visiting the Artechouse is the peaceful atmosphere it creates. The room is very dark, they have beautiful, calming music playing and everyone just seems to relax and enjoy the installation. This one in particular was very cool because 1. I love cherry blossoms and 2. it seemed like there were little surprises at every corner. For example in the main room, if you stood there and watched the wall for a while you’ll see a koi fish swim past or some Japanese lettering floating around. It was definietly a very cool experience.

However my favorite part was in the room where they are going to have their immersive food experience. It looks so cool. Basically everyone sits down on a cushion on the floor and you can ‘play’ with the table and watch all these colors and shapes appear right before you.

Here’s an image of what it looks like.

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I took this pic with my iphone. Between the tables are columns of these cherry blossom branches. It seemed like the perfect place to have a little photoshoot.

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So if you haven’t seen any of their other installations or if you’re a cherry blossom fan like me, definietly go and check it out. It’s probably one of my favorites that they’ve had there. If you’re interested, here’s are a few images from past visits.

My camera settings for this image is F4.0 at 1/100th of a second at ISO 5000 with my Sony A7II and 16-35mm wide angle lens. Like I said before, this room is super dark and no tripods. I love this camera in low light situations!

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If I could go back anywhere in the US from our epic cross country road trip last year, it would have to be White Sands National Monument. Hands down, no questions asked. I need to spend more time in this place. We only had one night here. So we were able to shoot sunset and early morning. Park authorites were pretty strict about making sure that everyone left right as the sun was setting so I didn’t get to spend as much time as I would have liked here. Plus they didn’t open at sunrise and I had to wait later in the day to get back in the next day. I didn’t go on any of the hikes or trails. We basically just parked our car, walked up to the highest sand dune and took a few pictures and sledded down the sand dunes. That was so much fun all on its on.

What first attracted me to visiting this place were all the beautiful lines that the wind created in the sand dunes. I thought they were so interesting and would be great for leading lines. But when I arrived, I quickly found out that you probably have to walk more than just the sand dune that was in front of your parking spot because those lines are probably covered by other people’s foot prints. LOL. To be honest, I photoshopped some of the footprints that are in this image because there are just sooo many of them. But the best part about this park is that shoes are pretty pointless. Unless you are wearing sneakers or something and plan on doing some serious hiking, it’s totally normal to be walking around barefoot. I love it!

My camera settings for this image is 1/40th of a second at F7.1 and ISO 160 with my Sony A7II and 28-70mm lens.