Virginia

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Happy Happy November! Hope you all have a pile full of chocolates at home and ready to celebrate the holidays! I know I am. Thanksgiving can’t come soon enough. Mashed potatoes in my mouth now! LOL.

But I’m most excited because this is when the Capital Weather Gang has said the fall colors will be peaking! If you saw my blog post last week, you know I’ve been seriously excited for this day. Yes, I am the type of person that when it’s the first day of summer, I expect it to be at least 80 degrees outside or I’m real upset. So now that Capital Weather Gang says “early November” I expect that means November 1st. So my friend Larry and I woke up early this morning to check things out at Shenandoah National Park. I’ll let you know exactly what it’s like tomorrow.

And if you did read my blog post last week, I’ve updated it with new suggestions. Let me know if you have any more ideas!

One last thing. If you’re free this weekend, come hang out with me, IGDC and my friend Austin Graff as we host a fun photo walk around Anacostia. Click here to sign up. It’s free! We just need a headcount. During this walk, Austin will lead us through his very own neighborhood as he gives us the rundown of everything new, exciting and colorful in this historic neighborhood. I’ll be there to help give tips on how to make the most out of the photowalk and bring home some images you would be proud of. Hope to see you there 🙂 Maybe there will be some fall colors we can photograph at the Frederick Douglass House 🤷🏻‍♀️

My camera settings for this image is F9 1/60th sec at ISO 125 with my Sony A7II and 28-70mm lens.

 

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Continuing my thoughts on being a photographer and writer

From the feedback that I got yesterday about being a photographer and writer I can see that I’m not the only one who feels like it’s difficult to express themselves verbally. After all, photographs are a visual representation of a 1000 words right? What more do we need to say?

I’ve started to read the book, Henri Cartier-Bresson Interviews and Conversations 1951-1998. From its title you may guess that Mr Cartier-Bresson did not consider himself a writer. In fact he’s published several books, most of which he did not write the words in and I found that to be very interesting. I’m not done with this book, but when I am, I’ll for sure write a book review like I do with many other books that I read.

But Henri is such a influential photographer that I would think many people would love to hear his exact thoughts about photography, art and his life in general. Maybe he was like me and did not know how to do it. But as I’ve taken the commitment to be more thoughtful and concise with my writing, the more I’ve learned from it as well. I’ve learned that there is more to the story than just a pretty photograph. There is so much preparation that is involved (whether you realize it or not), timeliness and even whether or not you executed your planned intention. The ability to verbalize this and to make sure to clearly send the right message makes you really think about the words you use and how to use them. I could re-write the same sentence like 10 times and it still not come out right.

Regardless, in the past two years I’ve have come to realize how important words are. I still would not consider myself the best writer in the world but I definietly try my best. Reading/listening to books has really helped me come up with my own writing style and learned just how free I can be in this new form of communication.

As seen in my recently published book, Snap DC. LOL

This image was taken about 20 minutes before the previous image. I figured that if I’m writing about the same thing, having similar images would be ok. But can we please get rid of that Lincoln Memorial scaffolding? 🤦🏻‍♀️🤦🏻‍♀️🤦🏻‍♀️

My camera settings were F16 at 1 sec and ISO 200 with my Sony A7II and 70-200mm ultra zoom lens on a tripod.

PS Happy Halloween!

 

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Some of you may not know but I’ve been writing this blog since March 2010. It was then that I commited to posting a new image every monday-friday and I have not broke that commitment once. To be fair, sometimes the blog posts will go up a little bit later than others but they are always there!

However when I made that commitment, I never said anything about writing. I have never considered myself to be a person who can easily express their feelings or view point. I feel like I know what I mean in my head but when it comes to verbalizing it, it can be difficult. You know what I mean?

So if you read my blog in the early days, you would have seen my image and then one or two sentences max. I remember it was such a hassle and torture to even do that. But it was in January of 2017 where I commited to be more than just a photographer. I wanted to be more thoughtful and practice the art of writing. Thanks to my friend, Mel for the encouragement!  So I stepped up my game and have been consistently taking pictures and writing about them more thoughtfully for almost 2 years. I will say it was a struggle at first but the more I do it, the easier it gets. I even find myself looking forward to writing sometimes. I think it’s the sense of accomplishment that I feel after writing something I’m proud of. Don’t get me wrong though, some days are easier than others. For example, I wrote a book talk/speech for a photo club I presented at last week. It took me about 1 hour to write a speech that I loved so much. The icing on the cake was that people came up to me to tell me how inspired they were by it. I was on cloud 9 for the rest of the week!

I have a lot more to say on this topic so to be continued for tomorrow…. LOL

My camera settings for this image is F5 at 1/80th sec at ISO 200 with my Sony A7II and 70-200mm ultra zoom on my gitzo tripod.

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I’ll be honest, since being back from Norway I haven’t gone out to shoot that much. I’ve woken up for a few sunrises here and there but nothing too serious. So last week I was getting that itch to go out shooting again.

I met up with my friend, Birch and we headed to the Memorial Amphitheater in Arlington National Cemetery. It’s been on my to do list for a while now and I’m so glad we made it out there. It was a beautiful, sunny day after days and days of rain. It felt so great to just be outside and enjoy the crisp autumn air.

When we had made the plans, I immediately had a vision of what I wanted one of my shots to look like. Although this one isn’t it, I love the way that it turned out. These two were just sitting there. They weren’t really talking, they just looked like they needed a little break from walking around. So they were the perfect focal point to break up the repetition of the seating area and the columns behind them.

If ever plan on visiting the amphitheater in real life, I think you would be immediately impressed with the grandness of everything. I love the beautiful lines and the light that reflects off of the white marble. Everything just seems so bright! I definietly want to come back when the leaves start changing in the Washington DC area and photograph this place again. The Arlington National Cemetery is a beautiful place to capture the leaves changing.

My camera settings for this image is F7.1 at 1/2000th sec and ISO 320 with my Sony A7II and my 70-200mm zoom lens. I think next time I come back to this spot, I may shoot more with my wide angle 🙂

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So this is the type of weather I would expect for October. When it’s cool and crisp outside but still indecisive enough so you can get these really moody sunrise/blue hour type images. Not the 80 degree weather we have been getting.

I took this image last year with my friend, Larry. Pretty much ever since we’ve met, we’ve made it an appoint to go to Shenandoah National Park to check out the fall foliage. I think last year was our third year in a row. But I remember this day VERY clearly. It was crazy, crazy foggy. So foggy to the point where we could not see much of the mountains. It was all just fog. It was even difficult to drive at some points. Obviously Larry and I got out of the car to capture a few images here and there but we soon decided that we needed to have a second trip in order to actually capture the type of images we wanted.

This particular image was taken along side of skyline drive. We parked the car and were pretty much the only ones in the park that early in the morning so it was easy to just get out and walk in the middle of the road. It could have been a little dangerous considering how foggy it actually was and the visibility was basically zero. But luckily, I was with Larry and we would look out for each other in case a car was coming. The yellow and red leaves in this image just make me so happy.

Looking forward to the leaves changing this year in the park and hopefully visiting again sometime soon with Larry.

My camera settings for this image is F4 at 1/30th sec at ISO 250 with my Sony A7II and my 16-35mm wide angle zoom lens.

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Happy Labor Day! Hope everyone is having a great long weekend. Now that Labor Day is almost over would it be inappropriate to start counting down the days until Fall? Although you can’t tell, I took this image in the fall time a couple of years back. The fog had taken over the valley so much that you can’t even see anything but the beautiful curves of the mountains. I love the almost monochromatic blues in this image. It makes it so abstract and different from other images of the national park. Really looking forward to going back this year when the leaves start changing. I love Shenandoah during that time of year.

Speaking of traveling, this time next week Andrew and I will be on our way to our next travel destination. It’s kind of overwhelming since we just got back from California and planned this trip so last minute but either way I know it will be a great time. To be completely honest, we still haven’t figured everything out yet. It’s a place that neither one of us have been to and it will definietly be an adventure. Can’t wait to tell you about it soon.

In the meantime, let me know if you have in fall plans. I’m already loving all the pumpkin spiced things in the grocery stores but I have to be honest, the halloween and christmas stuff seem to be a TADDDDD too early though. LOL.  But so far my only fall plan is that there is a photowalk in the works! It’s going to be great and so different from the ones I’ve done before. So keep the middle-ish/end of October free. It’s going to be a good one!

My camera settings for this image is F13 at 1/20th of a second and ISO 125 with my Canon 5D Mark II and 24-105mm lens on a tripod.