architecture

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One of my new favorite places to hang out in Washington DC is the West End Neighborhood Library. Not because of the books, even though books are great, but it’s because of the stunning architecture. I mean those windows are amazing but I love the they are stacked one on top of each other. It’s so cool and makes for very interesting photographs. I especially like how you can see the reflection of the clouds in them. It’s a great reminder that you should always look up when walking around the city.

But you may also remember this library from a previous blog post because it’s actually attached to Bluestone Lane. It’s been a little more than a year since I first blogged about it but even the interior is of this place amazingly beautiful. Since my first visit in February 2018, I’ve had many brunch and lunch dates here and I still can’t get over it. What’s really cool is that these “V” columns continue into the library too.

So if you’re into these types of architectural images, definietly join me in Chicago in July this summer. We’re going to have a week packed full of cool buildings to photograph plus so much more. There may or may not be a baseball game in the mix too.  I also made this video talking more about what to expect while we’re there. So if you have any questions about anything, feel free send me a message whenever. It’s going to be such a good time! As a matter of fact, Andrew and I are planning a trip out there sometime soon to start scouting locations. Can’t wait! Pizza is callin’ my name! and yours too if you join 🙂

My camera settings for this image is F4 at 1/3200th sec at ISO 400 with my Sony A7II and 70-200mm zoom lens.

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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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One of the really cool things about being in Las Vegas this time of the year was being able to see all the Lunar New Year decorations. Each hotel that participated had such different vibes and recreations of the holidays but my favorite is always the one at the Bellagio Hotel and Casino. I don’t know what it is about it, but they always seem to go all out for special occasions. So I knew I had to stop by at least once to check it out.

This was taken one night when I went on a walk alone with me and my camera. It was so much fun just taking my time to explore the city at night. So I basically started from our hotel and walked about a mile and a half on one side of the strip, turned around and walked on the other side on the way back to the hotel. I knew that I had to pop my head into the Bellagio and thought that the interior decor was crazy cool but then when I stepped out, I saw all the lanterns hanging above the entrance into the hotel. I was actually on my way to go watch the famous water fountain show but then I saw this reflection out of the corner of my eye and I had to stop. I get so excited when I see little surprises like this. The fountains of Bellagio were going to have to wait. LOL so worth it.

My camera settings for this image is F7.1 at 1/8th sec at ISO 1200 with my Sony A7II and 16-35mm wide angle lens. I didn’t use a tripod for this because I didn’t want to have to carry it around with me so I ended up balancing my camera on the edge of the water fountain which turned out to be perfect because I was able to capture much more of the reflection being so down low.

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Almost a week ago, I met up with some photo friends for a fun photo walk around northwest DC. We met in the middle of the day, something that I don’t usually do so I was interested in seeing the kind of photos we would capture. It ended up being a super fun afternoon filled with laughs and really cool architectural opportunities. Something I never really thought about doing in Washington but so glad we got together to do this.

Our walk was planned out by my friend, Zack who told us all to meet at the West End Library. The West End Library itself is a dream to capture but then we went on to the Pan American Union Building and finally ending at the Watergate. I’ve always driven past the Watergate but never even thought to stop and photograph it. Now that I’ve been, I can’t wait to go back.

I always assumed it was just a hotel, but turns out it’s much more than just that. It is also an apartment complex with stores, restaurants and businesses on the lower levels. This image was taken from standing on one of the lower levels looking up. I love all the curves of the building and even capturing it in the middle of the day allowed for some really nice shadow/light play.

But if you’re interested in capturing some photos of your own from the Watergate, I’d also recommend going to the rooftop of the Watergate hotel. You can get some really cool views of Georgetown and the Kennedy Center. You all know how I feel about a good rooftop 🙂

But definitely expect more images from this walk soon!

My camera settings for this image is F4 at 1/800th sec and ISO 400 with my Sony A7II and 70-200mm zoom.

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Salk Institute is one of those mind blowing places that you can’t believe is real. The most unbelievable part about it is that it’s a part of the University of California San Diego campus and that scientist can actually get work done in this beautiful place.

This was my second time visiting Salk. The first time was last year, but I knew I had to go back for this year’s trip. However, the main goal of this visit was to capture it differently than last year. I started off with my wide angle that provided me with some really cool views but spent most of the time with my 70-200mm. This allowed me to compress much of the building to provide the unique views that I was looking for.

Even though it seems like a really quiet place, there are people all around. Maybe because sunset was around 5p when working hours typically ends and people were leaving to go home, but there were people walking around at almost any given moment. It could also have been that I was there at sunset and other people wanted to get that golden hour glow on the buildings but I was definietly not alone.

The unfortunate part is that you’re not allowed to walk up the stairs. I totally understand why but I would have loved to capture someone standing at one of these stair landings. The best I could do was capture a fellow photographer at the very bottom of the steps. Either way, I love the way that it turned out. The pattern, the line, the shapes just fascinate me. I could seriously spend a whole week here and not get bored.

My camera settings for this image is F4.5 at 1/80th sec at ISO 1250 with my Sony A7II and 70-200mm zoom handheld.

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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 🙂