Virginia

All photos available for print and licensing >

Like I said in my last post, I have never actually crossed the Roosevelt Island bridge. Crazy, right? I’ve always just parked in the parking lot and headed straight to the trail just to capture images of the monuments. I had no idea what I was missing out on. So if you’re like me and haven’t explored this great place, it’s this open area with what look like great pieces of art and architecture around. It doesn’t seem very big and it was a little difficult to imagine what the water features looked like while they were covered in snow but I’m sure they could be really cool to capture in warmer climate. Already getting ideas for reflection images!

But it was the sculpture of President Roosevelt that really captured my attention. He’s right in the center when you arrive at the island so I tried to find different ways to photograph it. I really liked how he was covered in the snow (almost that white on white that I was looking for) but still looked like he was waving “hello”. LOL. After circling it a little bit, I found that I really liked the look of putting him a little further back but having a blurred out foreground element to make it look a little more interesting and to give that depth. I remember trying to stoop down a little so that the curvature of the bush matched the implied curvature of his body matched. So I would say that this was a successful first trip out to Roosevelt Island!

Even with all these great snow opportunities, I still can’t enough. Here’s to hoping we get a little bit more snow this season. Fingers crossed!

My camera settings for this image is F11 at 1/160 sec at ISO 200 with my Canon 5D Mark II and 70-200mm.

All photos available for print and licensing >

I’m pretty sure it was my lucky week last week because we ended up having 2 snow days! The second came totally unexpected to me. I think I was so concentrated on the getting news updates about the polar vortex and how cold it was going to be on Thursday that I did not even see the snow on Friday coming.

From what I saw the day of, it was only going to snow a little bit for a few hours in the morning. I think the weather people were estimating an inch or less. But it ended up snow pretty much all day. I’m so glad because I was busy in the morning which left the afternoon for me to play in the snow with my friend, Birch.

We first met up at the View of DC so we could capture the whole city in a blanket of snow. But it was snowing so much that the visibility of everything was really low. While we were up there, we decided that we wanted to get back onto ground level and see what it looked like from Roosevelt Island, in particular the bridge. There was something that bridge that Birch really wanted to capture so we went for it.

Out of all the times I’ve been to Roosevelt Island, I’ve never actually crossed that bridge. Weird, right? So glad Birch suggested going out there because I love this image of her. I love the ice in the water that formed during the polar vortex, I love how you can see the snow falling but I also love capturing Birch in her natural state. LOL. Also having that extra snowflake blur on her is very interesting to me. A happy accident that brings just a little bit more attention to her and her camera 🙂

My camera settings for this image is F11 at 1/125 sec at ISO 200 with my Canon 5D Mark II and 70-200mm zoom.

All photos available for print and licensing >

So it finally happened! Some fresh snow! and I was finally able to capture it. My favorite part about winter.

It started late in the afternoon last Tuesday and was so excited that I hopped in my car right away to try to capture it with the memorials in DC before there were too many footprints in the grass. I love that look of white on white. As soon as I crossed the bridge, my heart sank a little bit. It was actually too warm in Washington for the snow to actually stick on the ground. We were all getting snow but it only sticking in Virginia. UGH. Turned right back around to where I came from.

There was nothing else I could do but either capture it at night or just wait for the next morning and hopefully capture something good in Virgina at sunrise with my drone. So that’s what I did. I woke up early morning, not quite sunrise time but waited a little bit for the sun to rise just to make to be extra cautious in case of ice or something on the roads. I put a random park in my gps and made my way over. I knew it wasn’t going to be my final destination but wanted to get in the general direction of a fly zone.

I drove past the W&OD trail and saw that it may have been a great place to pull over. I don’t exactly where this was taken. Some random neighborhood in between Fairfax and Reston, VA but was so surprised to see that little creek flowing through the trees. After a little bit of flying around, I noticed the sun coming up a little more and blessing the trees with that warm light. I was totally not expecting it but love the way the image is divided between warm and cool. Plus it’s untouched like I was hoping for 🙂

My camera settings for this image is F2.2 at 1/100th sec at ISO 155 with my DJI Mavic Pro.

All photos available for print and licensing >

One of my new favorite places in the world is the CEB Tower in Rosslyn, VA. I’ve found myself recommending it to people without them even asking. LOL thats how you know it’s a great place to be. Not only is there a great view of Washington DC, but the observation deck itself is very beautiful. The first time I visited, I was blown away by the interior and the windows, paneling, everything. It’s floor to ceiling windows and it’s just breathtaking at sunset.

But my favorite part is when you go outside to the little deck area and you’re literally standing 31 floors up in the air with nothing but beauty around you. That is what my friend, Albert was experiencing in this image. He’s sitting outside on the deck, posing for his own pictures when I saw him perfectly framed by the window panels while standing inside. It was right around sunset time so the sky was working in our favor as well. I love that he is being silhouetted by the colors.

So if you’re planning a visit to the CEB Tower, definietly enjoy the view but the interior is something to appreciate as well. Also, there’s a bar inside so what can be better than some nice views and a little drinky drink. You know what I’m saying? LOL.

My camera settings for this image is F5.6 at 1/15th sec at ISO 640 with my Sony A7II and 70-200mm zoom lens.

By the way, currently working on the follow up to this blog post about sunrises in Washington DC with one about sunsets. Obviously the CEB Tower will be included, but if you have any other places that you think are good for sunsets in Washington DC, please let me know! I would love to add your input.

Happy Friday and have a great weekend 🙂

All photos available for print and licensing >

Attention! Attention! I have a new sunset spot that I need to share. It’s very similar to the view at this one, but at least this time you’ll be able to go whenever you want and won’t be trespassing on residential property. LOL.

Its at the Observation Deck at the CEB Tower in Arlington, VA. If you haven’t already you gotta go! I honestly don’t know what took me so long because it opened in the summertime and earlier this week was my first time visiting. You can walk 360 degrees all around the 31st floor of this building which gives you very interesting viewpoints of Rosslyn, VA and Washington, DC. It’s absolutely stunning! The one downside is that you’re always shooting through windows.

This image was captured right before sunset through the window. The glow on the memorials is what caught my attention to this scene and I couldn’t help but snap multiple images. My tip is to put your lens right up against the glass to reduce glare. If you have a dark black cloth that you can put over the lens, that’s even better! In order to capture this, I actually used my cell phone as a shield against the little spot that was being reflected. It was enough for the day but in case you’re there on a super sunny day, a cloth would be best.

But I haven’t told you the best part yet! The best part is that you can go up to the second floor of this observatory and go outside! You’re still shooting through glass but it’s even better with the fresh air. There are little spaces in between the glass panes that you can sort of fit your lens through but otherwise, it’s an interesting place to experiment.

My camera setting for this image is F5.6 at 1/100th sec at ISO 640 with my Sony A7II and 70-200mm zoom lens.

All photos available for print and licensing >

Is it me or did Thanksgiving creep up on you too? I can’t believe it’s next week! In the past I would have already known what dishes I’m making but this year I have no clue. I have not looked at pinterest once! I need to get on that this weekend.

But in the meantime I have been going through some of the images I’ve taken recently of the fall colors. It was like I spent a week straight photographing different places around the Washington DC area to capture the color but didn’t have time to go through ALL the images. But this trip to Shenandoah National Park was definietly a highlight.

Shenandoah National Park isn’t exactly in the Washington area but it’s a great place to escape to when you need a little time with nature. On this trip I went with my friend, Larry and we were both pleasantly surprised by the sunrise color. In the past, we haven’t had much luck with color in the park. Mostly a lot of cloudy, foggy days.  So as soon as I saw that color come out, I was super excited to switch to my 16-35mm wide angle to try to capture as much of the sky as I could. I don’t know if you’ve noticed or not but lately, I’ve been really liking to have a blurry foreground element and have something in the mid-ground in focus. That is exactly what I was trying to do here with the huge rocks that I was standing on in order to capture this image. What do you think?

My camera settings for this image is F4.5 at 1/40th sec at ISO 1250 with my 16-35mm and Larry let me borrow his Sony A7III for the day.

And if you have any Thanksgiving recipe suggestions let me know! Something on the easy side 🙂