camera

Sony Alpha A7II Mirrorless Digital Camera

I got this camera when it came time to replace my Canon 5d Mark II. Coming from a heavier full frame camera to this mirrorless dslr, I could not have been happier. It just fits so perfectly in my hands. I’ve been using it for 4 years now and knowing all the settings and where each button is just second nature to me now. However my favorite part about the camera is how lightweight and small it is. It’s so easy to travel with and just throw it in my backpack when I’m not using it. I used to feel back and shoulder pains when I would carry the 5d Mark II around but I haven’t felt that with my Sony A7II. I’ve taken it hiking and even got caught in a rainstorm with it. It’s a great durable, reliable camera.

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Although the camera isn’t waterproof, it is weather resistant. I’ve taken it out with me during rainstorms, snow storms, all kinds of weather and never had a major issue. I have these camera sleeves just in case, but never had to use them while out on the field. I mainly have them so I can cover my camera while it’s in my un-weatherproof backpack or purse. My camera settings for this image is F5.6 1/30 sec ISO 640 with 16-35mm wide angle lens handheld.

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A few weeks ago my cousin, Vincent gave me his old film camera. It came as a total surprise and I was really excited about it. It’s been forever since I shot with film but then I started getting all these questions in my head. Like, would I still remember how to use it? Where do I buy film? Where do you even get it developed? When would I even use it? Questions that I had never even thought about for at least 10 years.

In the past year or so, I’ve realized that film has kinda been making a come back. I see more and more people uploading film images onto their instagram and I never really thought anything of it. I’m not really into instagram fads so I never really considered it for myself but since I was gifted with a camera, I might as well as take advantage of it. We popped some fresh double “A” batteries in it and I opened the back to see if there was film in the camera. Oops, there was. Oh well, I figured a light leak here or there could be cool. HAHA.

I started taking pictures around their house just to test it out. After my first click, I lowered my camera to look at the back of it and immediately laughed. It was a habit that I had obviously created and never really realized. Even my nephew, Axl, asked to look at it after I took the picture. The 3 year old was confused about the fact that “it wasn’t that kind of camera”. LOL.

So I brought it peach picking with us and here are the results. Hope you enjoy.

Also, let me know if you’d be interested in seeing more film images. This was kinda fun and it definietly made me slow down and really think about what I was shooting. Considering the fact that I was limited to 24 frames (when I’m used to 1,000+), it was so different. OHHH and that film shutter sound 🙂

Its funny though. I got the roll of film developed and put onto a flashdrive. I pulled them up on my computer when I got home and the first thing that came out of Andrew’s mouth was “it looks like an instagram filter”. HAHAHA!

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So the cherry blossoms are not the only flowers that you will see by the Tidal Basin. Just to the other side of the Paddle Boat Parking lot will you find the Floral Library. It’s easy to walk right past it, but it’s one of my favorite places to be. I remember being a young girl and my mom would take us to the Tidal Basin to just take pictures in front of all the flowers. Photo evidence #1. LOL. Believe me, if you could see all the photos we have in our albums they all did not turn out as cute as this one did. HAHAHA

I took this image last year when they had some beautiful yellow daffodils. The Floral Library pretty much has something beautiful blooming all year around except for winter. My favorite way to capture these flowers is by getting down real low so that you are sitting in the grass and your camera is propped up. Basically it is resting on the dirt. The point is to get down that low to make it seem like the flowers are as big as the background and in this case, the Washington Monument. I love the play on perspective and it makes your viewer look at the image for a little bit longer so the can figure out what’s actually going on. But I think my favorite part of the image is that one daffodil facing the Washington Monument and it almost looks like it’s kissing it 🙂 Or is that just my imagination?

My camera settings for this image is F7.1 at 1/60th of a second and ISO 320 with my Sony A7II and 16-35mm wide angle lens. Obviously this wasn’t taken with a tripod only because I can’t find one that will go that low. Do you guys have any recommendations?

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I didn’t take this image this past Saturday, I took it a couple years ago but it is still one of my favorite snow images I’ve taken.  There are so many things going on in this image but its still so simple. I love the white on white tonality. I also really enjoy how you can barely see the Washington Monument. But my favorite part is seeing the little bit of reflection on the floor surface of the Lincoln Memorial with the little puddles of water and snow blocking the entirety. I think it’s little details like that make the image so interesting to look at.

But what do you think? Would you rather have one more good blanket of snow? or are you ready for spring flowers? I think I could go for one more snow day. But please keep it in February. I don’t want them messing with the Cherry Blossoms again like it did last year.

My camera settings for this image is F7.1 at 1/125th of a second at ISO 100 with my Canon 5D Mark II and 24-105mm lens. LOL I told you this was an older image. You know because I shot this on my Canon.

Which is funny because recently I’ve had quite a few people asking me about switching camera brands. To be honest, I love my Sony and I can’t imagine ever going back to Canon. No offense to Canon but that camera is just a beast. Its so big and bulky and after a while it just got to be too much to carry around on my back. I’m so happy with Sony. I love how easy and free I feel with my camera now. I really can’t imagine shooting with any other camera other than a mirrorless one. I’m hooked!

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This was taken the same morning as this image just about 30 minutes earlier. It’s a weird perspective in two different ways. 1 because this image is facing west. For some reason, this sunrise had all the color in the opposite direction and hardly anything facing east. You could imagine my surprise when I actually saw it. It was totally unexpected but very much welcomed. 2 because I knew I wanted to try to get the reflection of the colors in from the reflecting pool but there would have been no way I would have been able to get to the other side of the reflecting pool without the colors fading. So I decided that the edge of the reflecting pool was good enough. Personally, I don’t like it when I see other photographers stick their tripods in the reflecting pool to take pictures. I don’t know why but I just find it disrespectful. So this was a handheld shot to make it look like my tripod was in the water. LOL. Don’t worry, no tripods went swimming to capture this image! It stayed safely in the middle of the sidewalk so that no one could push it in. And by no one, I mean me.

But overall I love the way it turned out, especially the side of the steps where it sort of looks like a semi-circle in the reflection. Such an interesting pattern but one I’ve never noticed before and don’t know if I really would have if it weren’t for this angle.

Lesson learned here. Always look behind you when taking pictures. You could be missing out on some fantastic color and would have never known it!

The camera settings for this image is F/8 at 1/60th of a second and ISO 200 with my Sony A7II and 16-35mm wide angle lens.

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Flashback Friday to spring time in Washington DC. It is my favorite time to be in the city. The whole place just sparkles.

But to be honest, I’m not sure which one I like better, the Chinese saucer magnolias or the Japanese cherry blossoms. Both are beautiful in their own way and pop up everywhere around the city. The magnolias are just bigger and easier to see. They also fall like leaves when they’re ready and it makes for the most beautiful dusting of pink. But then there are the cherry blossoms… I’m gonna have to say that flowers in general make me so happy.

Now keeping them alive when they’re in my home… that’s a different story.

I captured this scene while exploring the Enid A Haupt Garden behind the Smithsonian Castle on the National Mall. I was walking out of the Moongate Garden and felt such an overwhelming amount of flowers and branches surrounding me. I knew I had to capture it with that early morning light. At first I was trying this composition out with no one in it. It was cool, but it needed to be better. Then a bus most have let people off or a metro just arrived because all of the sudden there were quite a few people walking past. Luckily, I had my camera ready and waiting for the perfect person to enter my frame. I really enjoy the way that this turned out. I showed it to my dad once and he said it looks like it was taken in Japan rather than Washington DC. I thought that was pretty cool for him to say that.

My camera settings for this image is F7.1 at 1/1000 of a second at ISO 200 with my Sony A7II and 16-35mm wide angle lens shot handheld.