birds

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On a cold, cloudless morning I found myself walking around the US Capitol. I didn’t really have any ideas of what I wanted to capture, I was sort of letting the light guide me. Well, it took me right to the front of the Capitol Reflecting Pool. It’s not a surprise to see a lot of birds or ducks wading in the pool. It’s also not a surprise to see the water a little choppy. But what really drew me to capturing the scene was the amazing orange glow that was coming from the Washington Monument from the early morning sun and reflecting in the water.

I love it. I love how the early morning colors sort of look like a pastel painting towards the top of the pool. I love how the birds are breaking up the abstractness but also all lined up in a row. But I also love the mystery of that orange line, directly in the middle of the image. Something about it really draws me in.

In other news, tomorrow morning I’ll be hopping on a flight to Las Vegas for the weekend. I’m really looking forward to it since I have so many memories of the city. When I was young, my mom and I would go every year to visit my aunt and her family. I used to love going to Circus Circus and play all the games but the best was escaping the Vegas heat and sliding down water slides with my cousins at Wet n Wild. This weekend will be fun because it’s for a family wedding and it will be such a mini family reunion. Looking forward to seeing my family and hopefully being able to sneak away for a little bit and take some pics 🙂

My camera settings for this image is f4 at 1/1600 sec and ISO 1000 with my Sony A7II and 70-200mm lens.

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I captured this image earlier in the summer. I remember being out taking pictures just because I wanted to, not because I knew it was going to be a good sunrise. In fact, I think I remember it raining a little bit after I created this image and being surprised that there was even any color at all. The whole mood was very dark and grey. I was grateful to have gotten this 10 minutes of color because it turned out AMAZING!

My favorite part of the image is that little cloudy-ness you see on the bottom of the image. I don’t remember what that’s from? Is it a hard core cloud reflection? Or some moldy-ness from the reflecting pool? I dunno. Either way, I think it looks really cool and I love how it’s breaking up the reflection to make it look a little different.

Also the birds! They’re so teeny tiny in the image. Can you even see them? At first I thought it was a whole bunch of dust spots that I would have to get rid of, but when I zoomed in on them it was actually it’s just a whole bunch of birds 🙂 A photo trip that lasted only 20 minutes but totally worth the early morning wake up call 🙂

My camera settings for this image is F4 at 1/125th sec at ISO 1600 with my Sony A7II 70-200mm zoom lens. I did not have my tripod with me this morning so the ISO had to be bumped up to help compensate. I’ve also noticed that shooting with a long lens may cause some extra shake. So just to be sure I can capture a super sharp image, I’ll usually bump up my ISO a lot. Plus it was super cloudy, so you know… Gotta do what you gotta do to get the shot!

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About 20 minutes before I took this image, I was fortunate enough to capture this image. They were pretty much right across the Romsdalsfjorden from each other. But I say that I was fortunate because I felt like I was in the right place at the right time with the right lens. One of the great things about Norway was that I didn’t see very many birds. LOL not even kidding. If you know me, then you know I have a slight fear of them. It’s a long story but it’s a fear that I’ve had since I was little. But I think that they can make interesting subjects in pictures (as long as they stay further back).

To be honest, these were the only 3 birds I remember seeing the entire trip. I saw them flying from far away so I brought my camera to my eye and just started shooting. I was hoping I could capture them in some type of way that would be interesting. I think I accomplished that when they were flying over this mountain peak. I love how they are lined up similar to the shape of the mountain.

I still haven’t gone through all my images from Norway yet, but you may have noticed that I’ve already gone through so many from Ã…ndalsnes. I loved it. The entire place is so photogenic. I remember feeling so small because you’re basically surrounded by beautiful mountain peaks like this one. You can see why we wanted to stay here for two nights instead of one. So I highly recommend staying here for at least 2 days if you really want to make the most out of your trip to Ã…ndalsnes.

My camera settings for this image is F5.6 1/500th ISO 640 with my Sony A7II and 70-200mm zoom lens.

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I took this image almost a year ago during Cherry Blossom season on that one crazy foggy morning we had. If you look closely enough, you can make out the cherry blossom trees in the background. But my focus for this image were on the birds that were flying in the foreground.

I know there has to be quite a few fish swimming around in the Tidal Basin. It’s not uncommon to see a couple of people out there fishing in the mornings, once in a while you’ll hear a random splash in the water and there’s always birds circling. 3 indications that in fact, there are fish in the tidal basin. So there are usually always a fair amount of birds that are on the water fishing. (What’s even cooler is when you can capture them all flying away together.) I thought it would be interesting to see if I could get a cool image of the birds and the fog, so for a good 10 minutes my focus went from photographing the flowers to the birds.

Then this one guy started flapping his wings like he was about to take off. Bird photography isn’t always my thing so I just took a few snap shots and kept it moving. It wasn’t until I got home and could view this image large on the computer screen that I noticed all the cool ripples it was creating. I also really like the reflection within those ripples. Overall I am just really happy with the way this turned out. I think it’s a pretty cool portrait of the scary flying creature about to take off.

And if you don’t know, I’m not a huge fan of birds. 

My settings for this image is F6.3 at 1/125the of a second at ISO 200 with my Sony A7II and 28-70mm lens.

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I left to Orlando with no real photo intentions. All I really wanted was to have a good time with family at all the amusement parks.  Mission accomplished! I thought I’d get a cool shot of the Disney castle with the fireworks, but that didn’t really happen. Instead, I woke up early one morning and ubered to Lake Eola to check out the sunrise from there. Holy cow was it foggy.

2018 is turning out to be the year of the fog! For real.

You could barely see anything in front of you. I went to Lake Eola park with intentions of capturing the water in the foreground and the skyline in the background but I could barely see 10 ft in front of me. Instead, I changed my focus from the big picture down to the little details of what I thought made the lake so cool, all the birds and swans! This guy came at me because he thought I had food. Sorry bud, if I had some, I would have given it all to you.

Otherwise, Orlando was fantastic. It felt so nice to walk around in a tshirt and sneakers. My favorite park was Universal Studios because my favorite ride was the Incredible Hulk Coaster. I love rides that go upside down! I definietly want to go again because I know there’s so much more that we didn’t have time to do! Like Pandora- The World of Avatar ride in Disney’s Animal kingdom was a 3 hour wait. I’m sure it was worth the wait but we just didn’t have the time. I’ll be back, Orlando!

Anyways, here’s a group shot of all us in front of the Tree of Life in Disney’s Animal Kingdom 🙂

My settings for the swan image is F4.0 at 1/320th of a second at ISO 3200 on my Sony A7II with my 28-70mm lens.

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If you haven’t checked it out already, I posted a new vlog on my youtube channel last week! Just a few clips of our trip to San Diego plus I added some of footage I captured from the drone. I’m having so much fun flying now and becoming a lot more comfortable with it. Over the weekend I flew a little bit with my cousin, Brian and he taught me how to take off and land from my hand! SOOO COOL! So if you haven’t checked out the video yet, click here to watch our trip to San Diego. Let me know what you think in the comments.

This image was taken on one of the many foggy mornings we had in SoCal. I will admit it was a little difficult to find compositions at times with all the fog and not being able to see too far ahead, but I love the way this one turned out. I think my favorite part is seeing the bird’s reflections in the sand. It’s so simple but I just can’t stop looking at it. The lines in the sand really help draw you in as well. I don’t know about you, but I always associate southern California with sunshine so it was interesting to see the other side of it. However next time I go, I would like some sun. This is the second time in the row when there was a whole bunch of fog. You’d think I was in San Francisco or something!

The settings for this image is F18 at 0.6 seconds with ISO 125 on my Sony A7II and 16-35mm lens.

PS I heard we’re expecting some snow this week in Washington, DC. plus the super moon! I’m really looking forward to going out and shooting this week. Good times ahead!