cherry blossom trees

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We’ve been having a lot of stormy weather lately in the Washington DC area. It seems like almost every day I’ve been getting warnings on my phone about rain or thunderstorms. I’m not complaining though because it feels great to break up some of the hot, humid summer days. But with all these rainy days, I’m always thinking about the water levels at the Tidal Basin and how bad the flood walls need to be repaired.

Even though I took this image last summer, it reminds me of what it’s probably been like at the Tidal Basin right now. It’s pretty ridiculous to see how much the Tidal Basin gets flooded, even on a day that doesn’t rain that much. To be honest, this particular day was the worst I’ve ever seen it. The sidewalks are flooded and it has become un-walkable. At some point, I had to walk up the slight hill, up to the sidewalk in order to get around trees and the flooding in order to walk along the Tidal Basin. It’s crazy!

If you’re are just as concerned as I am about your grandchildren seeing the Tidal Basin in all its beautiful glory, including the iconic cherry blossoms, please consider taking the pledge from the National Trust for Historic Preservation. It’s a national treasure that needs to be preserved.

My camera settings for this image is F4 at 1/250th sec at ISO 640 with my Sony A7II and 16-35mm wide angle lens.

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You may or may not have noticed that I had a busy week last week trying to capture the fall colors. Is it me or did they just pop out of nowhere. Literally one day it was all green and the next was so amazingly beautiful everywhere you went. So I’ve been busy trying to capture them all before they all fell. It must be all my cherry blossom training that I knew I needed to take advantage of the colorful trees as much as I could or you never know. Especially with Washington DC weather, you never know. Here one day and the next will be incredibly rainy and windy and they’re all gone.

So last week my friend, Birch and I met up at the Tidal Basin. It was a super cloudy morning and there was no real sunrise. We actually ended up just walking back and forth waiting for some light to appear before we felt like we were really able to capture the leaves in all its colorful glory. Also, it was a great way for us to just catch up on life 🙂

I know this image is a little different for me but I love the way it turned out. It was inspired by an image that I have seen from Brandon Woelfel where he captured something similar but during the springtime with flowers instead of leaves. Small little details like this is something I would like to work on more in the future. Often times I think big and wide but there’s something so simple about this image that I just love. Plus I love all the layers of the yellow leaves too.

My camera settings for this image is F5.6 at 1/80th sec and ISO 800 with my Sony A7II and 70-200mm zoom lens.

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I captured this image the same day I captured this one earlier this year in the summer. As a matter of fact, it’s probably the same exact bench just shot from a different angle. It was unreal how flooded the tidal basin was that day. It definietly makes for cool photos but it’s crazy to see in real life. The sad part is that it’s becoming more and more of a common occurrence. The silver lining is that I love the clouds in this image. It’s so subtle and really the only real color in the image that it makes it even more interesting to look at. Hope the cherry blossom trees will be ok in the long run!

Anyways, happy Friday everyone! Thank you all so much for all your positive feedback on the 2019 Dynamic DC Calendar. I’m so grateful for all your purchases and I can’t wait for you to see it in person. I CAN’T wait to see it in person. It’s funny because half the calendars that have been sold are from people not even in the Washington DC area. I love that!

And let me know if you have any plans for the weekend. I personally do not have any plans and I’m loving it. I feel like in the beginning of the year I was just keeping myself busy with all these events and meetups that it’s nice just doing nothing at all. Hopefully I’ll get some shooting time… with my film camera 🙂 If you need me, I’ll be one of those cool people with a camera on each shoulder. HAHA!

My camera settings for this image is F4.0 at 1/40 sec at ISO 400 with my Sony A7II and 70-200mm zoom lens.

PS I’m so ready for the leaves to start changing color. C’mon Fall! I feel ya. But don’t see ya! LOL

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This image is nuts. I can’t even believe I captured it because it’s really not supposed to look like this at all. This has got to be the worst flooding that I have EVER seen at the Tidal Basin and I’ve seen it flooded a number of times before. For example, here and here and even here.

The sidewalks were totally not walkable at all. I didn’t have my rain boots on this day but that would not have mattered. At some points I think the water came up to my knees. At that point I would have needed waders. Which is a funny story because I actually have a pair. Don’t ask me how I was given a pair… just trust me in knowing that I look super cool in them.

In order to captured this, I walked along the grass the entire time. It was pretty sad to see so many cherry blossom trees just wading in the water. At some points I would even see ducks swim by in places that was supposed to be a sidewalk. It was almost like I was walking through a really weird dream.

The only good side to this is that the reflections were unbelievable. The water was only moving when ducks would swim by but otherwise it was like glass. The sunrise was way better than expected so I was super happy to be able to capture it all in the water and make it look even more dramatic with the reflections.

My camera settings for this image is F4 at 1/500th of a second at ISO 1000 with my Sony A7II and 16-35mm wide angle lens. I noticed that a lot of the images I captured this day were in the shadows because I was walking around in the trees so much (with no tripod) so I had to bump up my ISO to compensate.

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A couple of weeks ago, I announced the first photowalk that I’ll be hosting. Don’t get me wrong, it’s still on and would love to see you all out there but now there’s another photowalk opportunity that’s coming up even sooner. This Saturday evening!

Thank you so much to my friends at IGDC for helping me put this photowalk together. It will be Saturday, May 19th at 6p and we meet on the steps of the Jefferson Memorial. Everyone is welcome! I’ll also be giving away a few copies of Snap DC for the first to arrive. If you’ve never been to a photowalk before I encourage you to say hello to someone you’ve never met. It’s such a great way to meet like-minded people and do something you both enjoy doing. I’ve met so many great friends through the IGDC community. I’m so grateful for their support and can’t be more honored to be photowalk-ing with them. The photowalk is free, super casual, and we’ll be walking around the Tidal Basin until about sunset. Hope you can make it!

This image was taken last week at sunset. The same day as the epic rainbow but about 30 minutes afterward that image was made. Hopefully we’ll get another beautiful sky like this one on the walk. You know one of my favorite things about shooting the Tidal Basin is definietly the reflection that you get in the water. I love how in this image the Jefferson Memorial columns look so wavy. Well definitely be talking about reflections and other photo ideas on the walk so please join us if you can!

My camera settings for this image is F7.1 at 1/50th of a second at ISO 400 with my Sony A7II handheld. As a side note, this is definietly cherry blossom inspired 🙂

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So yesterday was one of the best days ever! I’m still trying to comedown from the high.  Andrew and I attended the Ball for the Mall and it was the most beautiful, exciting, and inspiring evening ever. Thanks again to the Trust of the National Mall for the invitation and using my images throughout the entire event. Everything was absolutely incredible. Promise I’ll share some images from the evening soon. I’m still trying to gather all my thoughts about the night.

In the meaning time, here’s a pretty picture of the cherry blossoms 🙂 LOL. Like I said yesterday, I didn’t create too many images with the Jefferson Memorial and the cherry blossoms this year. I feel like it’s been done so many times that it’s difficult to make it different. So on that same day that I managed to shoot with very low battery, I grabbed this image. Initially it was the sun burst that caught my attention, but I’m a sucker for using the cherry trees to frame subjects. My favorite is the light that’s coming through the flowers. Doesn’t it make you feel all warm inside?

This is why we need to help preserve the National Mall and other national parks across the country. So that people can appreciate beautiful scenes like this forever and ever. Government funding only goes so far. We need additional resources that will help keep the cherry blossom trees healthy and all of our monuments and memorials safe and clean. The National Mall is a unique national park because it’s located within a city. We get so much foot traffic that eventually things are going to wear and tear. Please click here to find out how you can help.

My camera settings for this image is F22 at 1/100th of a second at ISO 400 with my Sony A7II and 27-70mm handheld.