Travel

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Yesterday my friend, Geoff Livingston launched his podcast Show Me. In each of the episodes he discusses famous photographs and why they worked.. or did not work. Then he asks each one of his guests to give their opinion on their own photographs.

I’m so honored and grateful to have been a guest on his show and to have been one of the first 4 people he sat down and talked to. We discussed a few Ansel Adams’ pieces before talking about some of my own images of the cherry blossoms, US Capitol and more. It’s always a good time to hang out with Geoff. I’m just glad there is actual documentation of it now. LOL.

There’s also a video recording of the podcast so you can see each of the images we’re discussing as we’re talking about them. You also get to see how much I talk with my hands when I speak so there’s that too!

PS At the end, I call him Gerry. That’s totally an inside joke. LOL I definietly know his name is Geoff.

So I figured the most appropriate image to post to honor Geoff and I’s conversation is to post my version of Half Dome. It’s been almost 10 years since I first visited Yosemite but it was such an amazing experience that I still remember it like it was yesterday. To this day whenever anyone asks me about my favorite national park, I always say Yosemite (besides the National Mall of course). I would go back in a heartbeat. I never doubted why Ansel Adams spent so much time photographing this extraordinary place. Props to him for doing it with a medium format camera and wooden tripods though!

My camera settings for this image is F7.1 at 1/320th sec and ISO 100 with my Canon 5D Mark II and 24-105mm lens.

 

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So this is the actual pipeline trail I was referring to last week. As you can see, it’s narrow. You’re pretty much walking one in front of the other the entire time and if someone wanted to pass, you have to sort of do that physical communication of who’s going to push their body towards the railings as the other person passes. It gets really awkward when strangers walk past with buckets and fishing poles. I mean these guys are usually carrying a lot of stuff.

To be honest though, I think I took this picture just so I could capture Albert‘s camera backpack. I’ve been in the market for a new one but it’s always such a struggle to find a great one. If it has one feature you’re looking for, it’s usually lacking in another. Plus I want something a little more discreet too. So if you have any recommendations, please let me know. Lately I’ve just been using a regular backpack with some camera padding inserts. But I think it’s time to get a real camera bag.

But isn’t it cool? This pipeline trail is unlike any trail I’ve been on before. I’m glad the City of Richmond made it so safe to walk on. Plus, there are a few points along the pipeline that you can actually jump off be and stand on a little beachy-sand area by the James. It was so fun.

At one point, both Albert and I jumped off to check out what the water looked like closer up. I thought that would be the most appropriate time to bust out my drone. So here’s a cool capture of both of us from above.

My camera settings for the pipeline image is F4.0 at 1/40th sec and ISO 1600 with my Sony A7II and 70-200mm zoom lens.

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This was captured on the same day after this image. Probably just 1 or 2 hours after the sunrise image was captured,

You know it’s so funny when you visit a place for the first time before the sun actually rises, everything is so dark and you can barely make out what’s in front of you. Neither Andrew or I had ever been to Joshua Tree and we had no idea what’s was really going on. But once the sun came out and you can actually see, it’s always so shocking and beautiful. Like, “I missed out on all this?”

So this image was taken on our way out of the park. I know we drove down this road during sunrise, but didn’t really know what it looked like. It just took my breath away once I could actually see it. I love the way the shadows are crossing the road. I believe they were created by some Joshua Trees but I am not completely sure. It mimics the clouds in the sky so well, almost as if it were a reflection. And nothing more says the American Southwest to me than those huge wide open spaces. I made Andrew pull over so I could capture it really quickly. Luckily we visited during the government shutdown and in the middle of winter when there weren’t as many people around. It made it really easy to just pull over and hop out real quick for the picture. Looking at this image definitely makes me want to go back soon but I’m not sure which is better, the extreme cold (wind) or the extreme heat that Joshua Tree experiences.

My camera settings for this image is F 4.0 at 1/5000th sec and ISO 800 with my Sony A7II and 70-200mm zoom lens.

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I haven’t been taking as many pictures around DC lately. Mostly due the fact that it’s been raining so much. Also I feel like I still have so many images to go through from this year. When I come home from travel, I get really excited and look at all my images. I’ll pick a few that I like the best and spend some time editing those. But for the most part, I’ll leave most of the other images just sitting there.

Sometimes I feel like I just need a break from them or I’ll end up getting really excited about a photowalk I did at home and those images will distract me for a bit.  Either way I always find it better after I have spent a little time apart from the images that I’ll be really happy with the edits. Now that I think of it, when I go back to look at those travel images after some time, it instantly brings me back to all these great memories and I think it’s easier to edit them after I can figure out how these places and experiences made me feel.

For example, this image was taken on our very first morning in Joshua Tree at the very end of December 2018. It was the best sunrise we had the entire trip but for some reason I was never extremely happy with the way I edited them. 5 months later, I had some time over the weekend and looked through a lot of my Joshua Tree images. I almost forgot about this sunrise and I can’t believe it. It reminds me of the morning when we woke up really early, even without alarm clocks because we were still on east coast time and hoping into the car. Since we were on our way to Joshua Tree, I felt like the only appropriate thing to do was to listen to all the U2 songs I could think of off of the top of my head. It ended up being so fun and we were cracking up over the littlest things. Aww so fun!

My camera settings for this image is F4.0 at 1/250th sec and ISO 2000 with my Canon 5D Mark II and 16-35mm.

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One of my favorite places in Washington DC is Dumbarton Oaks. I always look forward to going, but mostly in the springtime. You just automatically feel like you have been transported to Europe or something because of the architecture and just the abundance of flowers and plants. Ok, maybe not Europe but you definietly don’t feel like you’re in the capital city anymore.

So after cherry blossom season was over, I met up with my friend, Andy to walk around and take pictures. It just so happened that the Orangery was our first stop coming into the garden area and our last before we left. The first time we were there, it was crowded with a tour group so we wanted to wait a bit for people to clear out before taking pictures. I’m so glad we did because I just love the way this one turned out.

The lights and shadows coming from the ceiling above was so eye catching. I loved the patterns it was creating, especially on the plant in the corner. So I got down low to try to exaggerate the shadows a little bit more to fill up the frame. I just can’t stop looking at the lights on the plant.

But you can see behind the plant and how the interior is just covered in these vines. If you time it right, you can actually see wisteria hanging from them on the outside Orangery because it’s covered with vines on the exterior too. OMG it just takes my breath away everytime.

My camera settings for this image is F5.6 at 1/500th sec and ISO 400 with my Sony A7II and 16-35mm wide angle lens.

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On this particular morning, I heard my alarm go off twice before realizing why it was even going off in the first place. It had been a while since I made myself get up for sunrise. Mostly because I hadn’t been feeling well and I was using my sickness as an excuse. So once I started feeling better, I felt like I needed to get back out and take some pictures. Even if it wasn’t going to be the best sunrise, I just needed to have that time to get out in some fresh air and do something creative.

The forecast had called for cloudy skies. And it definietly was cloudy. So much so I could barely tell when the sun had actually risen. But it was ok because I hopped onto a scooter and scooted over to the Jefferson Memorial to capture some images. It was nice because I was there all by myself for most of the time. So I figured I would try something different.

I was standing in the portico and looked up. I love the how the wide angle lens was able to capture both the dome and portico ceiling and how the shapes sort of mimic each other. I think the columns in the center divided up the space very nicely.

By the way,  it looks like they’re about to start some major construction or clean up at the Jefferson Memorial. If you’ve been wanting to go, I’d go soon before another scaffolded memorial pops up in the skyline. With all the construction that’s been happening around the National Mall, I’m not surprised that the Jefferson Memorial is the next one to be restored.

My camera settings for this image is F4.5 at 1/30th sec and ISO 1600 with my Sony A7II and 16-35mm wide angle lens.