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This summer has been so good so far. I’ve been to more new-to-me places in the United States these past few weeks then I ever have in my whole entire life. Thank you, Thank you, Thank you! So grateful.

And our trip to Colorado seemed like it was so long ago but it really wasn’t. It was just the jump off to so many amazing adventures. I had a blast just driving around and checking out the sites. Beautiful mountain ranges at every turn. I remember purposely staying awake in the car so that I could see more of Colorado and once we hit Utah, I was out like a light bulb. LOL.

So this image was taken at one of our many pull over stops. I have no clue where it was but I just really enjoyed the cloud formations and the way the light was hitting the mountains. Can you imagine seeing this on your daily commute? That’d be bananas. I feel like after this trip, I am much more in awe of snow capped mountains than I am of any beach or anything like that.

I really don’t know what it’s like in the winter time but if it weren’t too bad, I’d definietly consider living in Colorado for a little while. That’s how much I liked it. So if you’re reading this and you have experienced the winter in Colorado, let me know! Is the snow just ridiculous? Would I have to get a SUV? What do you do in the winter time besides ski? These are the questions I need answered before I move.  The weather while we were there in the beginning of June was absolutely perfect! The air was so crisp and clean. Perfect weather to walk around or enjoy a meal outside.

 

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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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You wouldn’t be able to tell from this image, but there were tons of people out. All these school field trips, buses of tourists, and just people who wanted to see the sights at the Tidal Basin. So it was difficult for me to find my own little corner to shoot, but I did it! The secret is to figure out where all these people were coming in and exiting from. Its usually the same area, so I just walked on the opposite side of the memorial and BOOM. Clicky-click city.

This was during sunset but the weather had been calling for on and off showers all day. Music to my ears! So I went out, not really expecting much but the clouds were so dramatic that it was so easy and fun to shoot. I love how the steps of the Jefferson Memorial create a leading line to the Washington Monument. Also the tree on the right creates the perfect compliment for framing to the columns. But my absolute favorite part of the image is the distorted reflection of the Monument on the steps. So cool and interesting to look at. Who knew the marble was THAT reflective.

My camera settings on this image were f/5.6 at 10 seconds. I used my ND filter to slow down the exposure which is really showcased in the movement of the clouds. Good thing it didn’t rain for the rest of the night. I was having a ball with this sky. Also shooting at a long exposure can really blur out some of the people in the image. I think I’ll try for a slightly shorter exposure next time and experiment with the people. Kinda similar to this image I took in New York City at Grand Central Terminal a couple of weeks ago. Yea… that might be kind of interesting.

 

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If you’ve ever been to Moab, Utah, which is your favorite park to visit? Is it Arches National Park? Is it Canyonlands National Park? or Dead Horse Point State Park? Right now, it’s hard for me to decide Every time I think about any of the parks, I just think about how hot it was. We were only in Moab for one full day but it was extremely hot and cloudless the whole time. As seen above. But if you ask Andrew, his was Canyonlands NP.

However, I wish we could of spent more time in Arches. We were there for sunrise and had a great time walking around some of the shorter trails like Devils Garden and Fiery Furnace Viewpoint. The whole plan was to spend sunrise and sunset shooting Arches and visit the other parks during the day. When it came time for sunset, we drove up to the entrance and found out it was was closed due to road construction. Womp Womp. There was no way to get in. I was hoping for this epic shot of Delicate Arch at sunset and we were going to stay to shoot the stars. So this whole trip, I didn’t not get to see Delicate Arch which seems like the main attraction 🙁 Now I have a reason to go back.

So this image was shot at sunrise at Courthouse Towers. I was super impressed by all the rock formations and the shadows that they were creating. I even heard a lady giving a tour while I was shooting this saying that there were over 2,000 arches in the park. Thats nuts-o. I think there are some arches in this image that the national park would consider an arch. Do you see them?

This was shot at f/11 at 1/160th of a second ISO 250.

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I love Colorado. There I said it. I fell in love on our trip. Everything was absolutely amazing. As soon as I stepped out of the airport in Denver, I could definietly tell a difference in air quality. It was just so fresh and crisp. The weather was absolutely perfect the whole time we were there, 70 degrees with a little breeze.  I really think it’s something I could get used to but I don’t know if we were just lucky with the weather or if it’s always like that in the spring/summer. Either way, I was lovin’ it. (Like McDonalds).

At one point, Andrew and I were walking around after we had a big lunch and we saw this lady with her dog. We stopped to talk to her for a little bit and as we were walking away, Andrew said “I never realized how many nice people there are”. LOL! I thought that was hilarious but so true. I feel like everyone in DC is always in such a rush to get things done. You can definietly tell the slow paced, enjoying-life/nature type of of people in Colorado. Seriously, I can’t wait to go back.

This image was taken in Rocky Mountain National Park on the last day we were there. Andrew thought he “discovered a secret” vantage point however, it was just the parking lot of a museum. Moraine Park, specifically. We didn’t have a lot of colorful sunsets while we were there, but we did have some pretty cloudy ones which is really all you need. I shot this with my 16-35mm at F/10 for 4 seconds with my Ice Neutral Density filter. At one point we spotted a herd of deer running around on the grass in the foreground which was so cool to watch. But don’t worry, I’ll have more deer stories for you in the future. Oh man. HAHA.