bird

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Taken right after I captured this image, this bird was basically singing in my ear. I turned around and I could tell he was having a good time in the Smithsonian Gardens hopping from one branch to the next. So when he actually stopped to pose for the picture, I had to take it. He kind of sticks out but also kinda blends in with the background at the same time which I like.

By the way, why are all animals always “he”?

Along with the cherry blossoms, I always look forward to when the Magnolias bloom around the city. I don’t think they get enough credit because they are beautiful too. It seriously feels like you’re walking through a pink wonderland sometimes with how much blooms around the city. I love spring.

Anyways, hope you all have a great weekend. I’ll probably still be out taking pictures throughout. Even though peak bloom has passed for the magnolias and cherry blossoms, I also kind of like it when the flowers are falling off a bit. When the pedals are all over the grass and in the Tidal Basin water. Especially with the rain and hopefully wind, we’re getting today it should make for some interesting petal formations. I’m hoping the Tidal Basin and surrounding areas will look totally different.

That’s the thing about cherry blossom/magnolia/flower season, it’s just so hard to let go. LOL. It comes and go so quickly when all you want to do is just sit and appreciate them for a little while longer.

My camera settings for this image is F4 at 1/80th sec and ISO 640 with my Sony A7II and 70-200mm zoom lens.

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After doing a little bit of research, I found that one of the best places to practice flying your drone is in Fiesta Island in San Diego. It’s a wide open area with plenty of room to fly with not a lot of trees or anything to get in your way. It’s perfect. So one beautiful afternoon last week, I headed down there by myself to get some fly time in.

Overall, it was an awesome experience. It was my first time flying over water and the views were beautiful! However there are a few more things here that I have to look out for than I do flying back home. First of all, there are so many more birds here. It’s a little nerve wracking when a whole flock of them fly by. But I did get a pretty cool shot of them flying below the drone… youtube video coming soon 🙂

Second, the wind here is a huge factor. At one point my drone went a little bit too high in the sky and I honestly thought it was a goner. I hit the ‘return home’ function on the remote but it just went higher and further away. OH MAN were my hands shaking. I was so nervous about it drifting to the other side of the island or even hitting a bird or something and going straight down. Luckily, I was able to get it back and it’s all safe and sound.

So here’s one of the images I was able to capture while practicing. It’s a simple one of me sitting on the beach as a bird is flying by but I really enjoy the lines in the sand and the color of the water. Hopefully I’ll be able to fly more asap.

The settings for this image is F2.2 at 1/1100 of a second and ISO 100 with my DJI Mavic Pro.

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On my quest to take more cherry blossom images this year, I thought I’d leave this one for you for the weekend. This image was taken in 2012.  This is what the cherry blossoms should look like. Beautiful puffy white clouds along these delicate, windy branches. A glorious morning only shared by those who didn’t mind waking up before the sun. Ripples along the water created by a bird, a duck or slight gust of wind.

LOL I can’t keep a straight face anymore. I tried to be poetic. I’ll stop now.

Yea… So I took this in 2012, I have another version of this here but this one is a brand new one. I did not process it until now. The first time I processed the original image it was in HDR. For some reason it created all these unnecessary lines and colors along the branches called chromatic aberration. Trust me it is a pain in the B-U-T-T to get rid of. Man. I think it took me almost 3 days of fixing before I could get it just right for a client to print. So this version is vertical and it’s a little bit of a different point of view. The colors are definietly not as saturated but I much prefer this version. What about you? Which one do you prefer? Here’s the link again to the first one. 

If you’re wondering, I stopped processing my images using HDR a while ago. I just realized I was spending all this unnecessary time processing and editing that I didn’t have to be. I am really enjoying my workflow now which is only photoshop. Nothing else. If you’re interested in learning more about it, check out my video here.

Have a great weekend everyone. May the flowers be dancing above your head like the cherry blossoms in 2012 were. LOL.