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If you’re anything like me then you’ve been on zoom calls at least a couple of times a week due to stay at home orders placed by the government. It’s hard not to be able to see loved ones and colleagues in real life so one of the next best things to do is hop on a video call. I’ve attended birthday cake cutting zooms, girls happy hour calls, and even photo critiques with fellow photographers. So I figured I’d spice things up a bit with a new background and wanted to share some with you. I went through my archive and found a variety of images so you can swap out your real-life background for something a little different than your living room couch.

Here are instructions from the video conferencing site, Zoom on how to change your virtual background. These images are all cropped to the recommended aspect ratio.

Free Zoom Background 1: Rawlins Park

This image was created about a week before the stay at home orders were placed in the Washington DC area. Rawlins Park in Foggy Bottom right at full peak with Saucer Magnolia trees. If being surrounded by an abundance of pink flowers is your dream, then you can make it happen with this zoom background.

Rawlins_Park_Zoom_Background_Angela B Pan

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Free Zoom Background 2: Ecola State Park

If quarantine has got you dreaming of the ocean, then this may be the perfect Zoom background for you. I visited Oregon for the first time last year and to say that I fell in love was an understatement. I captured this the first morning I was there from Ecola State Park. The perfect place to watch the sunrise over Cannon Beach and the beautiful haystacks.

Ecola_State_Park_Zoom_Background_Angela B Pan

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Free Zoom Background 3: Multiverse

Taking the Zoom name literally, I thought this may be an interesting background for your video calls. This image was created in the National Gallery of Art in Washington DC. Multiverse is a combination of light, sound, and video created by Leo Villareal. A Concourse walkway that connects the East and West Buildings and not to be missed if visiting the gallery.

Multiverse_Zoom_Background_Angela B Pan

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Free Zoom Background 4: US Capitol Storm

For a slightly more dramatic background, I thought this image of a lightning strike at the US Capitol could be interesting to use. Stormy times call for stormy skies?

US_Capitol_Storm_Zoom_Background_Angela B Pan

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Free Zoom Background 5: US Capitol Flowers

And for a slightly less striking image (pun intended), here’s an image from last summer at the US Capitol. I loved the way that the red flowers were framing the dome.

US_Capitol_Flowers_Zoom_Background_Angela B Pan

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I hope you enjoy these backgrounds. If you decide to use them, please send me a screenshot! I’d love to see them.

Stay safe and healthy!

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So on this girls’ trip, we had 6 girls. With so many of us, we are obviously going to have different sleeping schedules. There were about half of us who were earlier risers and the other half who likes to sleep in. I was in the early riser category so the first morning I woke up my fellow earlier risers and asked if they wanted to go on a walk.

It was perfect that we were staying in the downtown area so there were a lot of interesting things to see. We ended up walking to the Texas State Capitol and then made our way to brunch. On the way to brunch, we ran into this colorful wall with a few cute sayings on it, like “I <3 Austin” and this one, “The only magic I still believe in is love”.

I took a few pictures of the different parts of the wall and as I looked up, I noticed this man who was about to walk by. I took a few steps back and held my camera low so he wouldn’t notice I was taking a picture. For some reason, it immediately reminded me of this image I took in Aruba. Andrew had always liked that picture so when I got back from our trip and showed him this picture he said that it was cool. Without even mentioning anything, he referenced the Aruban image as well. LOL.

My camera settings for this image are F4 at 1/125 sec and ISO 250 with my Sony A7II and 16-35mm wide-angle lens.

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If you haven’t already, definitely, defnietly check out Pulse at the Hirshhorn in Washington DC. Besides Kusama, it has to be one of my favorite exhibits that I’ve seen in recent memory.

It’s sort of hard to explain because there are just so many different aspects to the exhibit, but basically it is centered around being human and your heartbeat. And to be honest, the Hirshhorn was the perfect place to exhibit this. I think the circular architecture of the building really added to the exhibit and made you look forward to the next room and what’s around the corner.

The image on top is of the first room you enter into. It’s a whole wall of fingerprints. At first it’s hard to tell what you’re looking at because of the variety of colors, but once you get a closer look it’s fascinating. The entire exhibit is dark so I thought it would be interesting capturing people walking past in a blurred motion.

LOL Here’s an image of me and my friend, Dave doing our best impression of E.T. in front of the fingerprint wall. I think my favorite part of this image is actually seeing Dave’s finger on the left hand side.

 

The last room of the exhibit is just lined with light bulbs hanging from the ceiling. At the end of the room is a stand with two electric hand holders where you’re supposed to wrap your hands around it and the lightbulbs in the room are going to flicker on and off based on your heart beat. It’s pretty cool to watch the patterns.

There is one room in between but unfortunately I did not capture any images from there. It’s similar to the last where there’s electric hand holders but you can watch your pulse as it travels through water. It’s pretty cool and you can see it in this video my friend, Andy of the exhibit.

So if you haven’t already, check it out Pulse at the Hirshhorn. You’ve got one more month to do so and you can read more information about it here on the Hirshhorn website. It’s definietly worth the experience.

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Earlier this week I had the pleasure of attending the Artechouse‘s preview event for their latest installation called “Sakura Yume | Cherry Blossom Dream”. It definietly hyped me up for the real Cherry Blossoms blooming later this month!

One of my favorite things about visiting the Artechouse is the peaceful atmosphere it creates. The room is very dark, they have beautiful, calming music playing and everyone just seems to relax and enjoy the installation. This one in particular was very cool because 1. I love cherry blossoms and 2. it seemed like there were little surprises at every corner. For example in the main room, if you stood there and watched the wall for a while you’ll see a koi fish swim past or some Japanese lettering floating around. It was definietly a very cool experience.

However my favorite part was in the room where they are going to have their immersive food experience. It looks so cool. Basically everyone sits down on a cushion on the floor and you can ‘play’ with the table and watch all these colors and shapes appear right before you.

Here’s an image of what it looks like.

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I took this pic with my iphone. Between the tables are columns of these cherry blossom branches. It seemed like the perfect place to have a little photoshoot.

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So if you haven’t seen any of their other installations or if you’re a cherry blossom fan like me, definietly go and check it out. It’s probably one of my favorites that they’ve had there. If you’re interested, here’s are a few images from past visits.

My camera settings for this image is F4.0 at 1/100th of a second at ISO 5000 with my Sony A7II and 16-35mm wide angle lens. Like I said before, this room is super dark and no tripods. I love this camera in low light situations!

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It’s what we’ve been waiting for all year! Happy Thanksgiving! This song will be playing on repeat today to celebrate the holiday. And it is also day 4 to of this week long series of gratitude on the blog which is going to be for my family.

I know I don’t talk about them much on my blog. Mostly because they aren’t usually with me while I’m taking pics or something like that but I know in my heart that they are always there for me no matter what. When I initially told my parents that I wanted to quit my job and become a full time artist, there was definietly a lot of concerns and discussions. They were not thrilled at my decision but they also knew that if I put my mind to something, I’m going to do it. No matter what they thought.

Now, my family are some of the most supportive people I have in my corner. Whether it’s my mom forwarding all my newsletters to her friends, my dad always asking me how photo is going and giving me suggestions, or even my cousins liking my pictures every time I post them on social media, I know they are super proud of me and I’m so extremely grateful for them.

This image that I chose to be today’s photo is a little different for a Thanksgiving post, I know. It’s from Artechouse’s newest exhibit called, Kingdom of Colors. If you haven’t already, you gotta check out this space. This part was my favorite out of the whole experience. Watching the smoke or water or whatever it was coming down and falling on to the flowers. It was just so beautiful. And totally reminded me of my mom who was the one who taught me to appreciate flowers in the first place, so I thought this would be perfect for her.

The camera settings for this image is F5.6 at 1/25th of a second and ISO 1250 with my Sony A7II and 28-70mm lens.

Happy Thanksgiving!!!

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Happy Halloween! I always look forward to Halloween. To me, it’s the jump off to all the holidays and I likes to eat! Pumpkin flavored everything? Yes please! I’ll take two.

What are your plans for tonight? I’ll be out with my nephews and niece trick or treating. Usually I don’t dress up for it, but this year I am. I’m going to be a shark and Frankie is going to be a piece of sushi. CHOMP CHOMP CHOMP. We’re going to look so cute together. But most of all, I’m looking forward to spending time with family and eating some chocolate.

This image was taken earlier this year at the Yayoi Kusama Infinity Mirrors exhibit at the Hirshhorn Museum. The entire exhibit was amazing but my favorite of all the infinity rooms was definietly the ‘All the Eternal Love I have for the Pumpkins’ room. The first time I visited the exhibit, the room was closed because someone sat on a pumpkin. I mean how does that even happen? I was so disappointed that I didn’t get to see it that I had to make another trip back. Luckily the second time I was there, I got to experience the room. I really don’t know what it is about a whole bunch of glowing pumpkins that make it seem so magical, but it’s soooo cool. It’s as if you stepped into a fairy tale or something.

Unfortunately the exhibit isn’t in DC anymore but if you’re in the Los Angeles area, definietly go check it out at the Broad. You won’t regret it. And from there it will be in other parts of the United States so keep in eye out for it.

The settings for this image is 1/125th of a second at F4.0 and ISO 2500 with my Sony a7II and 28-70mm lens.