evening

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Happy Independence Day, America! Hope everyone has a happy and safe evening tonight. I look forward to capturing some more firework images somewhere in the National Mall. Not sure where yet but either way it will be a good time. I always find photographing the fireworks super exciting. I feel like it’s similar to photographing lightning. You never really know what you are getting until you pop your memory card into your computer. Most of the time its way better than you imagined 🙂

If you have plans for photographing the fireworks, check out this youtube video I created a few years ago. Even though the video is a little older, the information is still valid. It’s all my tips, tricks and camera settings in order to capture the bursts. Hope you’re able to capture some great ones!

This image was taken 3 years ago close to the Memorial Bridge in Arlington, VA. It is definietly one of my favorite views of the monuments and Andrew and I have sort of figured out a system for photographing the fireworks from here. It’s a long story but Andrew’s least favorite holiday of the year is the 4th because in the years past I made him sit outside with me, in the heat and humidity while we wait for the fireworks. He misses out on all the bbqs and other things so when the 4th comes around he kind of rolls his eyes at the whole thing. So we figured out that he could just drop me off at wherever I want to go shoot from, close to the time when the fireworks are suppose to go off and he will just drive home to the air conditioning while I just metro my way home. It’s works out for both of us! LOL.

My camera settings for this image is F5.6 at 1 second ISO 160 with my Canon 5D Mark II and 70-200mm zoom lens.

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Man oh Man what a week. A freakin’ awesome week to be more specific! At one point in time Snap DC was #1 on the charts for best selling travel book in the Mid atlantic region! Does that make me a best selling author? AHHH!!!! So crazy. But I believe it’s still number one in new releases in the same category. I seriously can’t say thank you enough! I’m so excited!

This image was taken last Saturday evening after the photowalk. My friend, Zack and I stuck around the Tidal Basin for a little while to see what blue hour would look like and it did not disappoint! At one point in time the sky was doing this thing where you were able to see the shadow of the Washington Monument in the clouds! It was awesome. And in turn you were able to see all of that reflecting in the water.

But the CRAZIEST part about it all was that there were bats flying above us the entire time. WHO KNEW THERE WERE BATS IN WASHINGTON DC? Definietly not me. That was the first time I’d ever seen any. At one point in time I swear there were like 6 flying above us. It was absolutely nuts. I could not stop staring. It was like I was shooting the Washington Monument and holding my camera steady with my hand but my eyes were in the sky following the bats (making sure they weren’t coming close to us). It’s seriously something new everyday at the National Mall. I swear!

Anyways, hope you all have a wonderful Memorial day weekend! Thanks again for all the support with Snap DC. If you have received your copy already, hope you can get out there and take some awesome pictures.

My camera settings for this image is F4.0 at 1/4th of a second and ISO 1600 handheld with my A7II and 16-35mm wide angle lens.

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This week has been kinda crazy, weather wise. During the day it is hot and humid and at night time we’ll get these awesome lightning storms. In fact, it was so bad on Tuesday morning that it woke me up from my sleep around 3a. Craziness.

To be honest, I wasn’t really paying attention to the weather like I should have. I have been busy with Snap DC and things that I didn’t think these storms were as intense as they actually are. Holy cow was I wrong. Around 6p on Monday I was getting ready to go workout when this loud alarm started going off on my phone. It was a tornado warning. It took me about 20 minutes to change out of my gym clothes into some long pants and long sleeves, eat dinner and I was out the door! I really didn’t even hesitate to leave the house because I knew I’d get some awesome images.

I made my way over to the Jefferson Memorial. Actually, no. I ran to the Jefferson Memorial from my car and was soaked head to toe. The winds were so strong that it actually got all my clothes inside my jacket soaking wet. Once I actually stepped into the memorial it was like it was still raining because all the wind was blowing the rain inside. CRAZYYYYY….. fun.

Once the wind settled down I was able to set up my tripod in between two columns and started shooting. I was probably out there for 2 hours and this was the best image I could come up with. I definietly would have considered this storm a practice run and it is getting me even more excited for the summer. I can’t wait!

My camera settings for this image is F4.5 at 0.3 seconds ISO 400 with my Sony A7II and 16-35mm wide angle lens on a tripod.

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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. 

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Taken back in December, somehow I missed the rising of the supermoon. I’m not sure how it happened since I marked in on my calendar but I wasn’t able to capture it. In my opinion, catching the moon rise is always better than the moon set. I think the moon appears to be much bigger or maybe that just depends where you are standing, but it’s always exciting to watch it come above the horizon. And if you miss the moon rise, the next best thing is moon set, right?

So I woke up super early in the morning. 3:30a to be exact. I met up with my friend, Larry, who seems to have no trouble waking up at that time since he does it on a regular basis. Not always to shoot, but I swear, this guy does not sleep. We wanted to try to capture the moon setting over the Lincoln Memorial but when you’re up that early, it’s still going to be a while. We decided to walk around the National Mall and find some cool compositions in the mean time.

I really like the way this one turned out. Although the warm red color is caused by light pollution, it’s a really cool effect that showcases the color transitions that I’m always talking about. You may not have noticed this but there are some cherry blossoms growing on those trees too! It’s weird because some of them actually start blooming in the beginning of winter. They die off pretty quick but you know me, if there are cherry blossoms, I will shoot them.

Speaking of which, they’re supposed to be peaking in two weeks! Can’t waittttttttt. First comes the magnolias which is like the pre-party. Then the main event! Holllllaaaaaaa

My camera settings for this image is F4.0 at 6 seconds at ISO 80 on my Sony A7II and 16-35mm wide angle lens.

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While I was shooting the sunset on Pacific Beach in San Diego, CA, my eyes were strictly on the water. I was watching people run in and out of the ocean and the waves were glowing in the sunlight when Andrew stopped me and told me we had to go watch this bubble guy. I had no idea what he was talking about but I stopped shooting and started following him to the boardwalk. Apparently this guy comes out everyday to create these bubbles. I don’t even think he had a tip jar. He just does it for the pure joy of it which is so awesome. And he had a huge crowd surrounding him as well. Kids of all ages wanted to check out this bubble guy.

We only stood there for a few minutes but you can tell he was making everyone so happy. But don’t be fooled, these bubbles were no joke. These kids got so soaked when they bursted on top of them. It was kind of funny. He even had some dogs barking at him too.

My favorite part of this image is the actual bubble itself. I love looking at the left hand side where it has already burst and in the center, above the sun where it has so many light variations.  It’s so interesting to look at the different ‘stages’ of the bubble. But I also really like the children that are in it. They add so much to the story, especially with their hands.

Props to this bubble guy for doing this everyday. I’m sure he has so many stories to tell just from standing in this one spot.

My settings for this image is F/25 at 1/125th of a second and ISO 125 on my Sony A7II and my 28-70mm lens.