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The watch is onnnnnn….

Last week Capital Weather Gang and the National Cherry Blossom festival both announced their predictions for the peak of cherry blossom season this year. It’s not always accurate, but they are usually pretty close. So I think I can confidently say that we should expect the cherry blossoms to start their first blooms the first week of April.

I C-A-N-T W-A-I-T. It’s always my favorite time of year and literally when I will probably be coming out of this winter hibernation I’ve been experience ever since the last snow storm here in Washington DC. Sometimes I do feel a little pressure to come up with new composition ideas but once I actually get to the Tidal Basin, I’m always inspired by the flowers. Honestly, the city doesn’t get any prettier than when the cherry blossoms are here.

So if you’re in the area, definitely mark your calendars for the 1st week of April. It will be a good time and if we run into each other, please say hello. It’s always great meeting people who read the blog.

This image was taken 2 years ago. It was probably one of the most epic cherry blossom days in recent memory. It was so foggy and visibility was so low that everything else around me just disappeared. I imagine if it weren’t so foggy you’d even see a little bit of the Washington Monument in the background. My favorite part is how this tree limb is barely touching the water but the reflection is just so nice. I don’t know why but I just keep staring at the right side of this image and I love it so much.

My camera settings for this image is F6.3 at 1/80th sec and ISO 200 with my Sony A7II and 28-70mm lens.

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The other day a friend of mine emailed me asking me if I had Iceland recommendations because they just booked a trip for the summertime. Oh definitely yes I do and basically wrote a book with everything I knew about traveling to the nordic country. All the pros, cons and everything I would do differently. To be honest though, there weren’t that many cons. Way more pros and exciting things to do 🙂

So after that long email, it made me want to go back and revisit some of my older Iceland images. It’s been 2 years since last time I was there but still have great memories of the visit. I’ve never been in the summertime so I definitely noted that it would be interesting to see what it would be like with almost 24 hrs of sunlight. It makes me wonder if sleeping would be difficult .

This image was taken on my last trip there. Vík was one of my favorite places we visited and it’s always on the top of my to-see places whenever people tell me they’re going to Iceland. This was an early morning shot and by early morning I mean around 11:30a in Iceland because we were there in January and the sunrise was around 10:30. It was amazing to get to sleep in for so long but so weird when daylight was only 4 or 5 hours.

An early morning fog had rolled in and seriously illuminated the mountains like I had never seen before. PS Is it me or do you feel like eating a piece of steak now? LOL.

Iceland is definitely one of those places that I could go back to time and time again and not get bored.

My camera settings for this image is F6.3 at 1/50th sec and ISO 200 with my Sony A7ii and 16-35mm wide angle lens.

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Spring is my favorite time to be in Washington DC. Birds are chirping, flowers are blooming and everyone seems to have a smile on their face. What’s not to love? It’s a special time to be in the city where tourists and locals alike flock to the famous cherry blossoms to admire their beauty.

To fully prepared, I reference this website a lot. It’s National Park Services’ Bloom watch. I think they have the most accurate up to date information about the peak bloom. They also break down the stages so that you know what you’re looking at in case you are overly eager and want to check out the trees asap.

2019 Update: National Park Service and Washington Post’s Capital Weather Gang are both predicting the first week of April as peak bloom so it sounds like a pretty safe bet that April is going to start off really pink <3

So if this is your first Cherry Blossom experience in the Nation’s Capital, let me try to break it down for you…

Click here to read more

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This image was taken on my way out of the Cholla Cactus Garden in Joshua Tree National Park at early morning just after sunrise. The sunrise was particularly colorful but unfortunately we weren’t able to capture it from the Cactus garden. The sky was starting to explode with color while we were on our way over there and ended up taking pictures somewhere along the side of the road to capture the Joshua Trees as foreground instead.

Its funny to me that all my recent trips and memories of Southern California has been in the winter time. I feel like it’s a totally different experience than if you visited in the summer. I bring that up because I was actually talking to Andrew this morning and we were trying to recall if California had a lot of mosquitos or not. To be honest, I don’t even remember seeing a lot of bugs in general. I’m sure if they did, there would be a lot in the summertime but because we have been there in the winter, I can’t even remember. Can anyone shine some light on this question?

Anyways, I got side tracked. Joshua Tree is an amazing place to visit if you’re ever planning a trip. I hope to go back sometime soon and see more of the park cuz it’s huge. Maybe in the summertime so I can see for myself about the bug situation? LOL. But I know the temperature difference is going to be extreme. While we were there it was super windy and so cold that at times it was difficult to be outside. I imagine it to be the same in the summer but with the heat.

My camera settings for this image is F4 at 1/1250th sec and ISO 800 with my Sony A7II and 70-200mm.

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You may or may not have noticed from some of my previous blog posts that I have a huge love for Las Vegas. LOL. It’s honestly one of my favorite places to be and am so confused whenever people say that they don’t like it. I mean, what’s not to like? Good food, lots to see and do, pretty lights? Honestly, it’s a head scratcher. LOL. But out of all the times that I’ve been to Vegas, I haven’t been to the Neon Museum, but I also have never been to Fremont Street.

I was first introduced to the area from one of my friends, Gail who captured some beautiful images of people on the street during Halloween. She said that Fremont street turns into “Freakmont street” and for some reason that name has always stuck in my head. So when I left the Neon Museum and looking for a place to eat lunch, I found this place called “Nacho Daddy” just 1 block away from Fremont street. SOLD! I’d get to eat nachos and check out Fremont street for a little bit. 2 for 1 special if you asked me.

So after lunch, I had a blast walking around Fremont Street. I never knew that’s where the iconic Cowboy sign was and a lot of other hotels and casinos I recognized. Next time I visit Vegas, I gotta go a night. I’m sure the whole place lights up like the strip but would be interesting to see how “Freakmont” street does it.
To be honest, I have no idea where I captured this image. I know it was definietly on Fremont street but either some hotel or something off to the side. I particularly enjoyed all the lines and shadows of this image so I captured it really quickly and kept on exploring.

PS I’d recommend Nacho Daddy. The fried avocado taco was way better than expected. My only regret not having more.

My camera settings for this image is F14 at 1/320th sec and ISO 160 with my Sony A7II and 70-200mm.

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Speaking of our cold winter, I’m so glad that we got some decent snow this year in the District. When we finally did receive enough snow, it never accumulated to too much but it was enough to blanket the city and slow things down. Good enough for me! This image was captured 2 weeks ago when we got the most snow so far this season, probably 1-3 inches depending on where you were standing.

It didn’t start snowing until the early morning so I woke up early, completed my morning routine of eating breakfast and getting ready for the day and headed straight to the metro to go into Washington DC. For a weekday, I remember it being eerily quiet. I tend to only take the metro on snow days and July 4th, so I honestly don’t have much to compare it to but it really was quiet! I just popped my headphones in and headed straight to the National Mall. I probably spent about 3 hours walking from Foggy Bottom Metro station to the Lincoln Memorial and then finally the Smithsonian Metro stop. Obviously there were a lot of stops in between but there’s hardly anything better than taking your time with your camera, listening to some of your favorite music and capturing one of the most photogenic places in America. I love how the snow just transforms the city.

This image was taken along the Lincoln Memorial Reflecting Pool. The tree line along the pool makes for a great place to capture depth because of the rows of trees, fencing and overhead lights. I love how that blue backpack just pops in an otherwise overcast image. It’s becoming one of my favorite places to capture when we have really dense weather (snow, fog, storms)

My camera settings for this image is F7.1 at 1/400th sec and ISO 800 with my Sony A7II and 70-200mm.