desert

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This was captured on the same day after this image. Probably just 1 or 2 hours after the sunrise image was captured,

You know it’s so funny when you visit a place for the first time before the sun actually rises, everything is so dark and you can barely make out what’s in front of you. Neither Andrew or I had ever been to Joshua Tree and we had no idea what’s was really going on. But once the sun came out and you can actually see, it’s always so shocking and beautiful. Like, “I missed out on all this?”

So this image was taken on our way out of the park. I know we drove down this road during sunrise, but didn’t really know what it looked like. It just took my breath away once I could actually see it. I love the way the shadows are crossing the road. I believe they were created by some Joshua Trees but I am not completely sure. It mimics the clouds in the sky so well, almost as if it were a reflection. And nothing more says the American Southwest to me than those huge wide open spaces. I made Andrew pull over so I could capture it really quickly. Luckily we visited during the government shutdown and in the middle of winter when there weren’t as many people around. It made it really easy to just pull over and hop out real quick for the picture. Looking at this image definitely makes me want to go back soon but I’m not sure which is better, the extreme cold (wind) or the extreme heat that Joshua Tree experiences.

My camera settings for this image is F 4.0 at 1/5000th sec and ISO 800 with my Sony A7II and 70-200mm zoom lens.

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I haven’t been taking as many pictures around DC lately. Mostly due the fact that it’s been raining so much. Also I feel like I still have so many images to go through from this year. When I come home from travel, I get really excited and look at all my images. I’ll pick a few that I like the best and spend some time editing those. But for the most part, I’ll leave most of the other images just sitting there.

Sometimes I feel like I just need a break from them or I’ll end up getting really excited about a photowalk I did at home and those images will distract me for a bit.  Either way I always find it better after I have spent a little time apart from the images that I’ll be really happy with the edits. Now that I think of it, when I go back to look at those travel images after some time, it instantly brings me back to all these great memories and I think it’s easier to edit them after I can figure out how these places and experiences made me feel.

For example, this image was taken on our very first morning in Joshua Tree at the very end of December 2018. It was the best sunrise we had the entire trip but for some reason I was never extremely happy with the way I edited them. 5 months later, I had some time over the weekend and looked through a lot of my Joshua Tree images. I almost forgot about this sunrise and I can’t believe it. It reminds me of the morning when we woke up really early, even without alarm clocks because we were still on east coast time and hoping into the car. Since we were on our way to Joshua Tree, I felt like the only appropriate thing to do was to listen to all the U2 songs I could think of off of the top of my head. It ended up being so fun and we were cracking up over the littlest things. Aww so fun!

My camera settings for this image is F4.0 at 1/250th sec and ISO 2000 with my Canon 5D Mark II and 16-35mm.

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Happy Happy New Year!!! YAYAYAYAY!!!! 2018!

In 2017, I set a goal to travel for photo at least once a season. Mission accomplished. Here are my favorite travel images from 2017 in chronological order.

Click on the pictures to read my original blog post.

hofn, beach, sunrise, water, black sand, iceland, south east, town, Höfn í Hornafirði, fishing town, mountains, fog, clouds,

Iceland, you beautiful country. I love you. I’ll see you again soon, k?

black sand beach, reynisfjara, vik, iceland, travel, europe, western europe, nordic, socks, waterproof, waves, how to dress, cold, beach,

Captured in the middle of the day with my 10-stop neutral density filter. I love that thing. I keep it in my camera bag at all times.

iceland, vik, south iceland, black sand beach, sea stacks, birds, waves, water, cold, europe, travel, blue, mood, rocks, nordic, island, viking,

Took this one just a few hours after the previous image but on the other side of the sea stacks. Crazy how the different point of view changes so much.

iceland, travel, horses, icelandic, island, travel, wind, winter, rain, airplane, golden circle, Reykjavik, fences, road trip, driving, short, hairy, 16-35mm, wide angle, 70-200mm, zoom, sony

One of my favorite parts about Iceland, the horses! They’re so sweet.

I’m not sure if you noticed or not but once I got back from Iceland, I decided to work on my blog even more. Yes, I still post new images every weekday, but I’m taking the time out to write longer and more thoughtful blog posts. I just thought that an interesting change from this trip that I wanted to note.

meadowlark botanical gardens, nova parks, northern virginia, vienna, va, koi fish, gazebo, pond, blossoms, spring, flowers, cherry blossoms, koi, japanese fish, swim, bread, feed, food, outdoors, afternoon, walk, stroll, visit, see, camera settings, motion,

I captured this image in Virginia at Meadowlark Botanical Gardens. That counts as travel, right? My favorite part of this image is that little ripple the fish on top is making with his tail.

utah, moab, arches national park, devils garden, trail, trail head, rock formations, sunrise, shrubs, nature, landscape, mighty 5, hikes, research, plan, travel, vacation, southwest, america, usa, national park,

Arches National Park in Utah. This was one of the first images I captured at sunrise. I just love how the sun burst balances out the red rocks on the right hand side.

colorado, co, visit, travel, rocky mountain national park, antonios pizza, estes park, sunset, dinner, pizza, hike, trail, lake, sprague, tripod, camera settings, neutral density, nd, filter, tripod, reflection, mountains

I fell in love in the spring and it was with Colorado. Man o man, I gotta go back in 2018.

Rocky Mountain National Park, Colorado, co, travel, visit, sprague lake, sunset, mountains, trees, national park, trails, hike,

Rocky National Park is one of my favorites. It’s so hard to take a bad picture.

Falling Springs, Covington, VA, virginia, road trip, cross country, waterfall, landscape, blue water, rest stop, rest area, water, trees, leaves, branches, east coast, america, hike, rope swing, summer

The beginning of our epic cross country road trip. That was one adventure that I’ll never forget.

covington, va, virginia, road trip, travel, visit, waterfall, views, summer, swim, hot, alleghany county,

Taken on a tripod and a 10 second timer. I must have looked crazy constantly running back and forth in my flip flops. LOL oh well. Wasn’t the first time.

Saguaro, cactus, national park, tucson, arizona, mountain district, signal hill trail, east end, mountain district, cactus forest drive, desert, landscape, foreground, green, heat wave, photographer, photography, sunset

My first time seeing saguaro cactuses in real life. They are amazingly beautiful and so big. Now that I think of it, I should of taken another self portrait like I did in the previous image here.

Cadillac Mountain, Acadia National Park, sunrise, maine, bar harbor, north atlantic, east coast, highest point, october, chilly, wind, weather, temperature, clouds, clear sky, photographer, photo, photography, visit, national park

Visited Maine for the first time in October. I love how spacious and airy this image is.

Bass Harbor Head Light, acadia national park, maine, east coast, sunrise, neutral density filter, long exposure, climb, tripod, sony, a7ii, southwest, blue hill bay, mount desert island,

It was hard to find this perspective but once I did, it was totally worth the early morning wake up call and the climb down slippery rocks.

That’s it. Those were my favorite travel images of 2017. Can’t wait to capture even more in the new year.
In case you missed it, I did the same thing with just Washington DC photos. Click here to check them out.

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It’s still crazy to me that 2017 is almost over. I was looking through my instagram feed the other day and I was reminiscing on some of my pics from the past year. I had some really great adventures in 2017 and I’m looking forward to the last couple of days the year. That’s when I do an end of the year recap of my favorite images. It’s going to be really hard to pick just a few but seeing them all displayed in one place is going to be so exciting! It’s funny though because my favorites are not usually other people’s favorites. It’s probably because I have a different emotion connection to the images than others but it’s all good. I love that I can look back at the pictures and just smile.

I’m pretty sure there will be an image or two of Utah on that list. When Andrew and I went to Utah in the early part of summer, we had the best time ever and created some memories that will last a life time. Including our little run in with some feisty elks. OMG that was so scary. LOL. BTW I know now that they were elk and not deer and that story was from Colorado, but Utah and Colorado was all the same trip!

This image is from Dead Horse Point Utah State Park. We got to spend a beautiful sunset there and I would highly recommend anyone else doing so. It was great for sunset because if you’re at the very tip of the park, you can actually follow the light of the sun all around the rim of the bend. It’s absolutely beautiful!

The settings for this image is F/9 at 1/8th of a second and ISO 250 with my Sony A7II and 16-35mm lens.

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Man o Man was Arizona hot! That’s what you get when you drive through a heat wave. I think the hottest we experienced was 115 degrees fahrenheit. Luckily, we were just in Tucson. I heard the heat was so hot that it was melting mailboxes in Phoenix! That’s pretty crazy if you ask me. We pretty much arrived in Tucson, went straight for the hotel pool, got out just in time for dinner in air conditioning and sunset in Saguaro National Park. The next morning we woke up and left Arizona, ASAP.

I didn’t expect too much from the park. I like to keep my expectations low so I don’t disappoint myself but it was way better than I had imagined! These Saguaro cactuses were huge. Way taller than me. So much fun to drive through and point at. If you’re planning on visiting anytime soon, I suggest starting out on the east end of the park where they have a paved road to drive through an 8 mile loop. There are a lot of pull over points where you can just stop and enjoy the views.

From a photographer’s standpoint I had a blast in this park but found it a little difficult to shoot. First of all, there are SO MANY saguaros. To single anyone of them out was difficult. Especially since there are so many cactuses around. They all sort of blended in with their surroundings if you wanted to shoot wide angle. So the way that I did it was to use a foreground element to sort of frame a really cool looking saguaro. I think if I had more time there, I’d also try to use the evening or early morning light to try to highlight the outline of the cactuses. I think that’d be pretty cool. Oh well, next time. Hopefully it won’t be as hot that time.