early morning

All photos available for print and licensing >

So this is the actual pipeline trail I was referring to last week. As you can see, it’s narrow. You’re pretty much walking one in front of the other the entire time and if someone wanted to pass, you have to sort of do that physical communication of who’s going to push their body towards the railings as the other person passes. It gets really awkward when strangers walk past with buckets and fishing poles. I mean these guys are usually carrying a lot of stuff.

To be honest though, I think I took this picture just so I could capture Albert‘s camera backpack. I’ve been in the market for a new one but it’s always such a struggle to find a great one. If it has one feature you’re looking for, it’s usually lacking in another. Plus I want something a little more discreet too. So if you have any recommendations, please let me know. Lately I’ve just been using a regular backpack with some camera padding inserts. But I think it’s time to get a real camera bag.

But isn’t it cool? This pipeline trail is unlike any trail I’ve been on before. I’m glad the City of Richmond made it so safe to walk on. Plus, there are a few points along the pipeline that you can actually jump off be and stand on a little beachy-sand area by the James. It was so fun.

At one point, both Albert and I jumped off to check out what the water looked like closer up. I thought that would be the most appropriate time to bust out my drone. So here’s a cool capture of both of us from above.

My camera settings for the pipeline image is F4.0 at 1/40th sec and ISO 1600 with my Sony A7II and 70-200mm zoom lens.

All photos available for print and licensing >

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.

All photos available for print and licensing >

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.

All photos available for print and licensing >

Taken right after I captured this image, this bird was basically singing in my ear. I turned around and I could tell he was having a good time in the Smithsonian Gardens hopping from one branch to the next. So when he actually stopped to pose for the picture, I had to take it. He kind of sticks out but also kinda blends in with the background at the same time which I like.

By the way, why are all animals always “he”?

Along with the cherry blossoms, I always look forward to when the Magnolias bloom around the city. I don’t think they get enough credit because they are beautiful too. It seriously feels like you’re walking through a pink wonderland sometimes with how much blooms around the city. I love spring.

Anyways, hope you all have a great weekend. I’ll probably still be out taking pictures throughout. Even though peak bloom has passed for the magnolias and cherry blossoms, I also kind of like it when the flowers are falling off a bit. When the pedals are all over the grass and in the Tidal Basin water. Especially with the rain and hopefully wind, we’re getting today it should make for some interesting petal formations. I’m hoping the Tidal Basin and surrounding areas will look totally different.

That’s the thing about cherry blossom/magnolia/flower season, it’s just so hard to let go. LOL. It comes and go so quickly when all you want to do is just sit and appreciate them for a little while longer.

My camera settings for this image is F4 at 1/80th sec and ISO 640 with my Sony A7II and 70-200mm zoom lens.

All photos available for print and licensing >

Other than the Tidal Basin, it’s hard to say where my favorite cherry blossom trees are. There are so many around the city to choose from. These in particular are right in front of the East Wing of the National Gallery of Art. The building itself is just so beautiful and I like to use it as a grey backdrop to help create this monochromatic contrast between organic and structural. If I could, I would seriously spend hours just photographing this group of trees alone.

This past weekend I tried to avoid the crowds at the Tidal Basin and photographed the flowers outside the US Capitol and National Gallery of Art. If I was daring enough, I could probably spend the whole cherry blossom season outside of the Tidal Basin and just photograph the ones everywhere else. Actually That’s a really good idea. I may try that next year. It’s already too late this year because I’ve photographed them yesterday morning at the basin but NEXT YEAR! LOL but I’m up for the challenge.

PS If you’re in the area, it’s also the perfect time to check out the blooms by the US Capitol and even across the street at Lower Senate Park. The magnolias and cherry blossoms are looking beautiful. Even the ones at the Washington Monument trees are looking great. I could go on and on, there’s so many great trees all over.

My camera settings for this image is f5.6 at 1/200th sec and ISO 640 with my Sony A7II and 70-200mm zoom lens.

All photos available for print and licensing >

I can just taste the lobster rolls when looking at this image. I’m 90% sure that I actually ate a lobster roll everyday that we were in Maine. You know how the saying goes, when in Maine… LOL. But seriously the lobster rolls were always so packed with so much meat and the bread was so buttery, I couldn’t help myself. I may just take a trip to Maine just for the seafood! Just joking. I do want to go back to Maine, but not just for the food. I want to go back because it seems like a really chill place to be. Like a very easy going, port town with a lot of super friendly people.

Oh and all the Maine puns! You know, how I only mainely wanted lobster rolls while there. LOL

My friend, Sue and I visited in October 2017. Neither one of had been there and we were on the hunt for some fall foliage color in the NorthEast. Our intention was to visit Acadia National Park so we only ended up staying one night in Portland. This image was taken early morning, just after sunrise at Portland Head Lighthouse. It was a great place to catch the sunrise because it was right by the city and it was super easy to get to. There weren’t a lot of people there so I felt comfortable enough to climb around on the rocks until I found my shot. To be honest, I’m not sure if that’s allowed or not but I did it anyways. Anything for the shot right? I do remember purposely making the foreground rocks out of focus and a little in your face. I feel like it creates a bit more interest, framing and dept to the entire image.

My camera settings for this image is F4 at 8 seconds and ISO 640 with a neutral density filter and my Sony A7II with 16-35mm wide angle lens.