washington-DC

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I’ve been uploading so many travel photos lately that I’ve been missing DC pics. No matter what, I always love shooting this city. Some people can say they get sick of shooting the same place over and over again but I don’t. It’s always looks and feels so different anytime you go. I don’t think I could ever really get tired of it.

This was taken while walking around the Tidal Basin. It was early morning, probably an hour after the sun had risen and the light was hitting these leaves perfectly. I think my favorite part of the image is the reflection of the Washington Monument in the Tidal Basin. It makes it look so long and exaggerated. Funny story is, this was actually influenced by a picture I saw at my doctors office.

I was just going in for a physical when they brought me into a little room to get my weight and my blood pressure. There was a photograph of a similar scene but taken during cherry blossom season and there was a lot more going around on top and around the monument. But I couldn’t stop staring at the reflection of the Washington Monument. I thought it was the coolest part of the image when I’m usually all crazy about cherry blossoms. I guess seeing another person’s work made me see the Washington Monument in a totally different way. It was exciting. I immediately went home to see if I had I something similar to the reflection that i saw in my doctor’s office. and I did! I took this one last year around this time. I never noticed the reflection until that doctors visit. LOL. I totally would have dismissed this picture before but i really like it. It feels like home to me <3

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So grateful that yesterday’s Independence Day fireworks were so awesome! The forecast had called for 40% rain showers but you would have never known it. The weather was perfect. It wasn’t too hot that it was unbearable to stand outside and sitting under a tree made for a nice breeze. Luckily the clouds weren’t so heavy and dark this time that the fireworks were really able to shine.

My friends Jim and Rosa joined Andrew and I in capturing the fireworks. We ended up at the US Capitol which I had never thought of shooting from before. It turned out awesome because they were having their own concert there and John Stamos (Uncle Jesse) was the host! I was singing and dancing up until the big show. Then while the fireworks were going off, they had even more performances going on. It was a little distracting because I didn’t know what to look at, the performance or the fireworks, but overall it was a blast!

At first I was a little disappointed with how many people were in front of us for the pictures. But taking a moment to really think about what I wanted the end product to look like, I think it worked to my favor. It’s a totally different view of the fireworks than I’ve ever captured before and I think it’s an accurate depiction of what it’s like shooting on July 4th in DC. Crowds of people, a big production, and everyone having a good time. I really like how you can see the fireworks in 4 different places in this image. Can you spot them all?

But lesson learned. If I ever shoot at the US Capitol again, go early. Same goes for all the Lincoln Memorial which I might try to go to next year. The angle from that memorial looks beautiful!

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Happy  Independence day! Hope you all have a great 4th of July full of fun, family and fireworks 🙂

This image was taken last year before the National Museum of African American History and Culture was opened. It was amazing! My friend, Jim (who I used to intern for at the Smithsonian Natural History Museum) and I were the only ones inside the fence taking pictures. So I’m pretty sure that means we’ll be the only two people EVER with an image like this. With no one in the shot with 4th of July fireworks with the museum and Washington Monument standing side-by-side. Pretty awesome, huh? But I do remember how gloomy and cloudy the day was. The whole day called for rain and we got little pockets here and there. I remember thinking that they may totally call off the fireworks since the clouds were so dark and heavy. Luckily, they went off as planned. But unfortunately again, we weren’t able to see the ones that went really high in the sky. We could only hear them. The clouds were so dark that you couldn’t even see the color in them from the firecrackers. We could only see some of the lower hanging ones. Oh well. I still think this turned out pretty amazingly. But a cool effect that happened from all that rain that I didn’t expect were the reflections in the walkways. I purposely got down lower so I could really highlight the reflectiveness of the ground.

I’ll be out taking fireworks images again this year at the National Mall. I’m really looking forward to it. Its like 20 minutes of pure excitement. So if you need any tips on how to shoot fireworks, check out this video I created 4 years ago. All the rules still apply:

Happy shooting and be safe!

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H O M E!

Arrived into Dulles airport real late last night and went straight to bed. Today I plan on catching up on a lot of emails, laundry and image editing. Any image or place you want to see in particular? I’m taking requests. LOL. Can’t wait to start diving in to these photos. Only problem is that I took so many pictures that it’s hard to figure out where to start! Its a good problem I guess 🙂 More stories about our road trip as the blog posts start rolling out and there will be a youtube video!

But it feels so good to be home.

In general, many people ask me for my secret shooting location or favorite spot to shoot in DC. It’s hard to say. But what’s easy to say is my favorite parking spot. It’s 100% the paddle boat parking lot at the Tidal Basin, as seen on this map. It is by far the most centrally located parking space to all the monuments, but for some reason hardly anyone parks here. Theres always plenty of parking whenever I go. Plus it’s freeeee! The only down side to this parking lot is that it’s closed during Cherry Blossom season. 2 weeks out of the year? No big deal. I’ll take it!

Even if you’re feeling a bit lazy and don’t want to leave the parking lot, you get some beautiful views like this one. I love these new swan paddle boats. They make things so much more interesting.

I shot this with my fav, Ice Neutral Density Filter 10stop to get that silky smoother water. My camera settings for this image was F7.1 at 25 seconds at ISO 500 on a tripod on a super cloudy but beautiful evening.

Starting tomorrow will be images from our trip! Can’t wait to share with you! EEEKKKKKKKK.

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Flying home today from our crazy road trip adventure. Everyday was jammed packed with excitement, food and sight seeing. I can’t wait to tell you all more about it. Over 2,600 miles under our belts, I can definietly say that it was a trip that’d be hard to forget. But I’m so glad we’re not driving back. Faster, airplane, faster! 🙂

I’ll definietly have a youtube video for you as soon as possible.

For now, heres an image I took earlier this year at the National Cherry Blossom festival in DC. I specifically remember thinking that I wanted that guy to get out of my shot but I figured that after 10 minutes of waiting, he wasn’t moving. Sometimes I like to pretend I’m taking pictures of something, that way people will think that they are in my shot and will want to move. Nope. Didn’t work for him. He was far more interested in what was down there than what I was doing. Oh well. At least I was able to line him up with the sun burst.

But even though I had the time of my life on this road trip, it feels good to be going back home. Looking at this image makes me think about how much I love living where I live and I’m super grateful. Theres no where else in the world like Washington DC. For the good and the bad. It’s always exciting.

My camera settings for this image was F/20 at 1/40th of a second at ISO 500. My aperture was super small so I was able to get the sun burst even bigger and sharper but the ISO was pumped up a little bit so I could shoot it fast. I also love that it smoothed out the water. Just don’t drop your tripod in there 😉

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And we’re in the home stretch. Today we’ll be arriving in San Diego which is our final destination for our great American road trip and we’ll be spending the rest of the weekend here. I’m not going to lie, this has been the time of my life but it has also been exhausting. Driving across country is something that I never thought I’d do but I’ve learned so much from it. Next time I do this, I want to drive through the northern part of the country like South Dakota, Montana, Wyoming. Theres so much more to the country that I haven’t seen. Seeing it from the road is a great way to appreciate it all. Hopefully Andrew and Frankie will be able to join. That would be sooo much fun.

This image was taken on top of the parking garage at Union Station. Pro tip- Union Station itself is amazing to photograph. Interior, exterior, beautiful views it has it all. Then after you’re all done, you can go down to the restaurants and get an adult beverage. But seriously, this an amazing spot for sunset with an unique view of the Capitol. There aren’t many places where you can go on a rooftop or shoot from a very tall point of view in Washington DC. Especially now since the Washington Monument is closed for who knows how long. So for a great birds eye view of things, Union Station is one of the best places to go to.

My settings for this image was F6.3 at 1/10th of a second at ISO 160. I did not have my tripod with me at this time but I should of. The wall of the parking garage is pretty tall. Taller than what I’m used to, so shooting for me was a little difficult. The whole time I was standing on my tipy-toes but like Tim Gunn says, ‘I made it work‘ 🙂