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Virginia was issued the initial stay at home order on March 30th, 2020 due to the Coronavirus. It didn’t come as a surprise but it was still something that I had to mentally prepare for. Honestly, one of my first thoughts about it all was, “How am I going to go and take pictures?” Not only is photography fun for me, but it is my way of exploring places, finding stories, and expressing myself. In the past, the longest I had ever gone without taking pictures was a week. I already knew the stay at home order was going to be tough.

The world was a rapidly changing place and I was craving to capture it. Here’s are the images I created in the first two months:

Cherry Blossoms

Covid-19 really started being a concern in the Washington DC area just before the cherry blossom season. We had an unusually mild, dry winter that allowed the cherry blossoms to bloom a bit earlier in the year than they usually do. So I was excited to be able to visit the Tidal Basin with a bit less of a crowd since travel was in the process of slowing down and social distancing was starting to become a new term. I tried to go as much as I could until it started to get too crowded. When it got to be too much, I decided to just stay home and be happy with the images I was able to create. My logic was to take as many pictures as I could until it got to be unsafe and then spend quarantine editing them.

Weekdays at sunrise are really the best times to visit the Tidal Basin during cherry blossom season, Coronavirus or not.

The last day I was at the Tidal Basin when it started to get a little too crowded

The cherry blossom trees are smaller at the Washington Monument, but still just as beautiful. I tried capturing a few images from there since it’s a larger area to roam.

Cherry blossom trees are seen from the George Mason Memorial

Mt Vernon Trail/Georgetown

That weekend, Andrew and I decided that we should try to get out “one last time” before we had to stay home. We decided that the Mount Vernon trail would be a good place to go and stretch our legs. Andrew walked Frankie on the trail which allowed me to take my camera and capture a few images as well.

Considering the stay at home order was placed the very next day, I’m so glad we did this. It was a foggy morning and the trail was not as crowded as it usually is. We parked our car at Gravelly Point and headed towards the Navy Merchant Marine Memorial.

At the cherry blossom peak bloom, but the pink flowers came out a little hazy in the fog.

(L) A quick stop in Georgetown along the Key Bridge. (R) Views of the Washington Memorials are seen all along the Mount Vernon Trail.

Vienna Metro

So this is where my real pandemic images begin. It had been about 1.5-2 weeks since our walk on the Mount Vernon trail and I was going crazy. I had never purposely taken such a long break from taking pictures, and it was not making me feel good. I was really craving creativity, seeing what this new world looked like, and just to walk around with my camera. So I started locally. I mean really local since I live within a few blocks from the metro. I figured with public transportation being at an all-time low, it was probably the safest and most isolated I would ever see it.

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One of my favorite parts of the trip was taking our dog, Frankie on walks to different places in the city. This was taken on our second to last day. It was extra cloudy with a little bit of wind but so nice and comfortable to be outside. We made our way to the Brooklyn Heights Promenade but we parked our car just above it. What a cute little neighborhood. I’m sorry I don’t know the name but it looked just like the houses did in the Cosby Show. Wasn’t that based in Brooklyn too?

Anyways, it was Andrew and I’s goal to take pictures of Frankie with different landmarks behind him. So obviously, we had to take a picture of him with the Manhattan skyline in the back. He’s balancing on a bike share stand and looks thrilled, doesn’t he? HAHA He’s such a good boy but for some reason, he gets scared to jump off of things. Even when we’re home, he doesn’t like jumping off the couch or bed, so he has to be brought up onto furniture if he wants gets on it. That’s the only way he’s guaranteed a way down.He won’t jump up on his own. So we knew if we put him up on this bike stand, he would not jump. He’d just stand there for as long as we’d let him. LOL.

Whenever I look at this picture, I just smile. I’d love to take him on my trips. Don’t you think he’d look awesome next to the faces at Mount Rushmore. HAHAHA. Crazy dog mom? Maybe… But look at him. He loves it!

My settings for this image was F/5.6 at 1/320th of a second ISO 200. No tripod or anything. Just love.

Have a great weekend everyone! That week was short!

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Soon after this image was taken, this lady got yelled at for letting her dog go into the water. LOL! Aw man!

It was literally picture perfect. This girl was just relaxin’, having a great time with her dog and that awesome hat she was wearing. The dog was having a blast swimming into the middle of the water and fetching the stick. The snow capped mountains, beautiful weather, both of them were loving life. It was seriously like a scene straight out of a movie. But after getting yelled at, the park service woman told them about another body of water that was close by that dogs were allowed to swim in – so it was all good by the end of the day 🙂

But looking at this image, it still gives me that calm/relaxing feeling that I never want to end. Next time I visit Colorado, I definietly want to make sure we spend more time in Aspen. It looked like such a cute little town with beautiful scenery. Best part is that Maroon Bells is just 15 minutes away from the town. I’d love to capture it at sunrise or sunset. That would make me so happy.

A big shout out to photography for teaching me to love the outdoors.  I don’t think I would have been able to appreciate it as much as I do now if it weren’t for photo. It has allowed me to go to places I would have never imagined and meet some amazing people along the way. Some of my most precious memories have been from exploring the outdoors and trying to capture its beauty.

My camera settings for this image is F16 at 1/400th of a second ISO 200. I pulled out my 16-35mm wide angle to make sure I captured the entire scene.

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Speaking of adding a human element in your images... What about adding a puppy element? Dogs make the best models 🙂

We didn’t have much planned last weekend but all of us wanted to get out of the house. Including Frankie. So we ran a few errands and along the way stopped at James Madison Memorial Building. I have seen pictures of it on instagram, but never actually visited. Also, we didn’t get the chance to go inside because we had Frankie, but the outside was beautiful. I love all the repeating columns. They’re really different than the ones you’d see at the Jefferson Memorial or Lincoln Memorial because theres hardly any space in between them. It gives off a totally different effect. Plus these columns are a lot more straight and modern looking than the other memorials.

Frankie was the perfect model. You can’t see it but Andrew was standing just to the left of him in between the columns just to make sure nothing happened. But he just sat there and posed. It really wasn’t much effort at all to get him to sit like that. He didn’t even move until a group of people walked passed and all he wanted to do wag his tail and greet them as if they had walked into his home. To be honest, I did photoshop out his leash. It was just a long, red leash that totally didn’t go with the final image I was looking for. I love how he looks so tiny in this massive environment. I hope next time we’ll be able to go inside.

The day after I took this, I showed it to my nephews. They said that next time I should photograph Frankie on a throne. LOL. I think their dad has been watching a bit too much of Game of Thrones. LOL.