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After coming home from a long trip to Southern California, I knew one of the first places that I wanted to go back to take pictures was the Tidal Basin. I love it and have captured some of my favorite images from there. I personally feel like I’m back when I’m walking around the Tidal Basin and ducking my head under the low hanging cherry blossom tree branches. Luckily while we were gone, Washingtonians experienced a good amount of snow. I’m all for snow but I don’t like how it gets so messy while it melts. This time it worked to my advantage because it actually created some great puddles in places that there aren’t usually reflections.

The whole mood of this image perfectly describes what it was like being there. It was cold and kind of wet. I especially like how that little piece of ice in the foreground. But trying to get myself back on east coast was a bit of a challenge. I basically forced myself out of bed but once I was out, I was happy… and cold.

Also sorry for the last minute notice but if you’re around the Washington DC area this weekend and don’t have plans on Saturday, come out to the tidal basin for sunset. At 4:30p, I’ll be leading a free photowalk with DCTography starting at the Martin Luther King Jr memorial and then ending the walk at the Jefferson Memorial. It will be a great time and a great way to meet other photographers in the area. I’ll be talking about light and trying to capture it as we walk and the sun dips below the horizon. Hope to see you there ūüôā

My camera settings for this image is F8 at 1/4th sec at ISO 800 with my Sony A7II and 16-35mm wide angle lens.

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It’s been a while since I’ve visited the Air Force Memorial in Arlington, VA. I think the last time I was there almost 2 years ago when I went with my friend, Navin to shoot lightning. I ended up with some pretty cool images like this one but I haven’t been back since. So last Monday I was checking the weather and it looked like it was going to be a pretty good sunset. I literally looked through Snap DC to see where I could go and decided on the Air Force Memorial. LOL I love that I have the resource now. I texted my friend, Birch and off we went.

As soon as I pulled up, I was shocked by how many people were there. I thought that by going to the Air Force Memorial, we would have avoided the summer crowd that’s at the National Mall. I was wrong. There was at least 2 bus loads of kids running around the memorial. It wasn’t too bad though because they all left within 10 minutes and then had another good 10 minutes in between before another bus load of kids came by. So I think that’s the secret. You have to wait for the waves of people to leave.

So while we were waiting, I thought a really close up image of the Air Force Memorial would be cool. I like the way that this one turned out. I love the symmetry and the blue sky definietly worked in my favor. It wasn’t a colorful sunset like I had expected, but I really would not have known that unless I got out there and tried so it was all worth it.

My camera settings for this image is F8 at 1/80th of a second at ISO 160 with my A7II and 16-35mm wide angle lens.

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Yesterday’s sunrise was amazing. I checked my weather app the night before and it looked very promising. So I was excited to get out to the Tidal Basin, shoot sunrise and check on the status of the cherry blossoms.

You can see in this image that they are budding. I may have seen one or two trees that had a couple of blossoms on them but for the most part they looked like this. They definietly won’t be blooming this week. Hopefully by the end of next week. However the color in the sky and the cherry blossoms were not my main focus once I arrived. It was all the flooding that was on the sidewalks! There was so much water everywhere. A lot of the southern part of the Tidal Basin, close to the Franklin Delano Roosevelt Memorial, had large puddles and some were so big that they were impassable. It had got to the point where I really regretted my decision of wearing sneakers instead of rain boots. It made the grass all muddy and overall a really swampy situation.

I’ve seen the Tidal Basin flood before, but there had always been a reason. This day for example was right after we had a huge thunderstorm so obviously it was flooded. This day was crazy foggy and there was a lot of moisture in the air so I’m assuming that’s why it flooded. But we haven’t had any rain or snow in almost a week. There really is no reason why the sidewalks should have been flooded like they were. It’s bananas.

So if you’re like me and want to do something about it, check out the Trust for the National Mall’s website so we can help protect the Tidal Basin and Cherry Blossoms.

The camera settings for this image is F5.6 at 1/40th of a second and ISO 500 with my Sony A7II and 16-35mm wide angle lens.

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One crazy cold morning I met up with my friend, Albert to shoot the sunrise. I remember the day before I heard on the radio that we were expecting a lot of fog and obviously I got really excited and told Albert about it. The weather can be so finicky because I woke up the next morning to one of the clearest skies ever! I’m so sorry Albert I made you get out of bed so early in the morning! Plus it was crazy cold and windy. It was probably one of the shortest sunrise sessions I’ve ever had. 20 minutes and I was back in my car.

But as we were about to leave, I noticed the beautiful light that was coming from the front of the Martin Luther King Jr Memorial. I asked Albert to stand right at the light ray and I love the way that this turned out. It’s so simple with the little pop of “warm” light. But I think my favorite part is the overall cool-ness to the image. I love how blue and cold it feels because that’s exactly what it felt like being there.¬†Remember how I was saying this is a composition I wanted to keep on working on?¬†Click here to read my previous post about the MLK Jr Memorial.¬†

To be honest though it’s not exactly what I had intended from the original post. It’s a little bit closer to what I had in mind and I’m still very happy with it. I’m going to keep at it until I get it exactly how I envision it.

Did I mention it was crazy cold that morning? LOL.

The camera settings for this image is F7.1 at 1/125th of a second at ISO 125 with my Sony A7II and 16-35mm wide angle lens.

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Even though it was Christmas Eve, I still wanted to go out and capture the sunrise. On this particular morning the sunrise was beautiful but very fleeting. The colors in the sky only lasted for a couple of minutes and then went away. So I figured I would walk around more and see what else I could find. Luckily, my family didn’t have plans of getting together until lunch so I had time to wonder.

I’ve mentioned this before on the blog, but I am constantly moving and walking while I am out taking pictures. I honestly feel like there is nothing worse then going home with a memory card full of the same images. I can understand if you’re standing in the same spot and sky is changing or something like that but I really like to capture a scene and then keep it moving to find a different or even a better composition. So while I was wondering around, I found these cherry blossom branches that perfectly framed the Jefferson Memorial. I mean seriously, could it be any more perfect? *In my Chandler Bing voice*

My favorite part of this image is how cold it feels. Yes, it was a cold day but I think the blue sky and the blue water help exaggerate the feeling along with the bare branches. This image was obviously taken in the winter time. And just like this previous tidal basin image, I really like how the clouds are mimicking the branches. It definietly adds to the framing and repetition of the image.

My camera settings for this image is 0.4 seconds at F22 and ISO 80 with my Sony A7II 16-35mm. You may or not be impressed that this was handheld, no tripods. When I read my camera settings, I was impressed… so….

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Not to say that I like one better than the other, but another favorite place to shoot fall colors is Shenandoah National Park. Just driving along sky line drive is so peaceful and relaxing. I never have a plan of what I’m going to shoot, I just go. And¬†each time I go is so different.

What’s crazy is that I shot this in 2011! Lately I’ve been going through some older photos. Like way back. And I still remember shooting this. This particular morning was foggy. You know me and how excited I get with fog.¬†But you can’t even tell that the leaves are changing or anything. I just love how the fog washed away all the details and all you see are blurred lines. It sort of reminds me of an abstract painting with an influence of Mark Rothko. The small hint of purple and pink in the middle of the image really draws my attention.

My camera settings for this image was F/18 at 1/20th of a second ISO 125 on my Canon 5D Mark II.

On a side note, I still get quite a few questions about my 5D Mark II. They’re mostly if I still use it and the answer is not really. The only time I really use it may be shooting fireworks. I just trust the camera remote on the 5D Mark II way more than the one on the Sony A7II. I feel like in that “high pressure” situation, (high pressure meaning, I can’t easily re-do it) I’d rather use that camera. Otherwise, it’s straight Sony equipment for me. I still have my¬†Canon body and lenses sitting on the¬†shelf. I may sell it in the future, but I’m not sure. We just have so many memories together that I don’t know if I’d want to give that away.