a7ii

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Last week was a stunner. There were so many great sunrises and sunsets. I was able to capture some but not all. This particular sunrise colors didn’t last too long but when they were out, they were out in full force and so vibrant. It totally makes waking up early worth it but that part it isn’t too bad now that it’s winter. It’s a little bit after 7a which makes it pretty manageable. The difficult part about winter sunrises is the cold. I’m definietly bundled up and walking around like the michelin tire man.

I decided to go to the Tidal Basin because it’s been a little while since I’ve watched the sun rise from there. This is pretty close to the Martin Luther King Jr memorial along the tidal basin and one of my favorite spots for sunrise that I mention in this post. I met up with my friend, Larry and we spent the morning just catching up and snapping pics. It was great.

Lately whenever I go out, I carry just two lenses with me. The 70-200mm and the 16-35mm but have been favoring the 70-200mm even more. There have been times when I don’t even switch between the two lenses and only use the 70-200mm. I love it. Capturing this scene with the 16-35mm wide angle would have made the Jefferson Memorial look so small and since the color didn’t fill the whole sky, being able to zoom in to a tighter frame gives the impression of more color than there actually was.

So whenever someone asks me what camera equipment they should get, I always say that it’s really about the lens you use. It can totally change your perception of a scene and make you see things differently. Just something to think about in case you’re in the market 🙂

My camera settings for this image is F9 and 1/25th sec at ISO 320 with my Sony A7II and 70-200mm zoom.

 

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If you turned around from Bass Harbor Head Light and looked onto the water, this is the sunrise you would have seen. Heart eyes emoji!

It was the best sunrise we had seen all week! And again, I did not use my tripod to capture this, I was balancing my camera on the rocks. I really like doing that because it makes everything in the foreground look super big. A play on proportions if you will and a way to see things that you usually wouldn’t be able to see just with your naked eye.

And in the center of the water is a boui that had a bell in it. I loved it. It was so peaceful and calming to hear the bell ring whenever the wind blew it. At first I had no idea what was making the noise but once we figured it out it was like listening to church bells on a peaceful morning.

But we weren’t the only ones on the rocks savoring this sunrise. There were a few other photographers who were there and as morning went on, more and more people started to show up. At one point this guy screamed, “look a seal” and pointed to something that looked like it could have been a seal’s back sticking out of the water. I was so excited to see it because Sue and I had been looking for seals the whole week. I even pulled out my vlog camera to try to capture it. But when the “seal” didn’t move for 2 minutes and its back was still sticking out of the water, I could only assume that I was staring at a rock and missed the seal completely. Crying face emoji!

The settings for this image is 15 seconds at F5.6 ISO 320 with my Sony A7II and 16-35mm wide angle lens.

 

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As mentioned in a past blog post, Sue and I spent our last sunrise in Maine at Bass Harbor Head Light of Acadia National Park. It was super fun. To get down to this spot to take this image, you had to climb down some seriously steep rocks. It was a little shady at some points. Another photographer who was already there before we arrived suggested I just leave my backpack at the top and just climb down with my wide angle and tripod. Ummm no thanks sir. I got this.

So with my backpack, tripod and jacket (that I didn’t need), I carefully got down to this very cool puddle. It was the best spot to see as much of the lighthouse as you could without having to stand on slippery rock. Seeing the reflection in the water was definietly an added bonus. Then the sun rose. It was an amazing sunrise that made everything turn a reddish orange. My favorite was seeing the light casted onto the lighthouse and making the rocks in the foreground look like massive boulders.

Thankfully, I had my camera bag and all my camera equipment with me and I was able to pull out my neutral density filter to  shoot this long exposure. With the light getting bright, it was harder to capture the color without a filter. The neutral density filter really allowed me to get that saturated color, especially in the reflection. Love how that turned out!

My camera settings for this image is 6 seconds at F4 and ISO 1000 with my 16-35mm wide angle lens and Sony A7II. Although I had my tripod with me, I did not use it for this image. My camera was stabilized on a rock so I could get as low as possible to get as much of the reflection as possible.

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Last week, I was so honored to be invited by POD DC and Crimson Diner & Whiskey Bar to join them for an end of the summer rooftop celebration. The new hotel with accompanying diner is located right in Penn Quarter. They had a wonderful tasting menu including lobster rolls and a fun cocktail making class. I participated in both 🙂

And now that sunset is earlier and earlier in the day, we were up on the roof just in time to watch the sun go down and the dark sky light up. My favorite part of the view is being able to see the Friendship Archway at Chinatown with the Washington Monument all the way in the very back. So cool! I don’t think I’ve ever seen a vantage point like this one.

My intention for this image was to capture some car light streaks going through the Friendship Archway. I did not have my tripod so I kinda of balanced my camera along the edge of the rooftop to capture this. The settings on my camera was F7.1 at 3.2 seconds and ISO 160 and I didn’t even need a wide angle. This was shot with my 28-70mm and was still able to capture it all. But I also have to credit my Sony A7II for this. It’s fantastic in low light situations and it was so easy to capture this.

Even on a Thursday night, there were still quite a few people walking around and enjoying the night. I wanted to make sure that it looked lively so I upped the saturation in the lighter parts of this image to make it look a little more vibrant and happening.

Now that I know about this place, I’d love to go back on a night with a really nice sunset. I think the images would turn out fantastic. Thanks again, POD DC. I had a blast!

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I know I’ve been posting a lot of the Tidal Basin recently, but thats where I’ve been going lately. Every time I go, I am hoping to see some cherry blossoms. More like wishing and praying. There are a few here and there that have bloomed but this particular morning that I went out the main attraction was definietly the cloudy sunrise. There was this amazing glow that was coming from the horizon that you just couldn’t ignore. However my favorite part of this image is being able to see the Jefferson statue right in the middle of the columns. I also really like the elongated reflection in the water.

Days like this one make me so happy to be a photographer living in the DC metro area. I feel really fortunate to be able to visit these monuments on a regular basis and to see the beauty in them in almost any kind of light. Not a lot of people have the same opportunities so I’m really grateful for mine. Even with all the early morning wake up calls and late nights, when I see a sunrise like this, it makes it completely worth it. But it’d be hard to pick which monument is my favorite monument to photograph. It’s like choosing which puppy is the cutest. They’re all so great and you love them all in such different ways. You can’t actually pick just one. (Was that a weird analogy? Comparing monuments to puppies?)

If you’re interested in knowing my settings on this image they were: f5.6 at 1/5 sec. I shot it on my Sony a7ii with my 16-35mm wide angle lens. If you’d like to know my settings for future images, just let me know in the comments below. If I remember, I’ll try to put them in my blog posts for you.