fall foliage

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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.

 

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I be dronin’. LOL.

We had gorgeous weather here in Virginia over the Thanksgiving weekend. What could be better than spending that time outdoors? So Andrew and I decided to grab the drone and practice flying. Checking out the maps, we decided to go to Reston. I was looking forward to capturing some lake images but once I got to our location, it was the trees that really caught my attention. I can not believe that it is almost December and the trees are still this colorful and hanging on. It seems kinda late doesn’t it?

Either way, I loved the way my very first drone image turned out. It’s actually a small piece of a larger image but that word “slow” really caught my attention. With some fancy cropping and rotating, I came up with this.

Practicing my flying skills is always a good thing, but I also need to practice my composition skills with the new point of view. It’s a totally new way to see the world and I need to know when to fly up higher or get down low and when there’s too much in the frame. I think that was my problem when I viewed the images on my computer. There’s just too much going on and you have no idea what to focus on.

Regardless, I’m loving my mavic. Every opportunity I get, I want to fly. I was even showing Andrew how to fly too. He didn’t take any pics but I bet if he did, it would some how turn out blurry. He’s just that good. LOL

My camera settings for this image is F2.2 at 1/100th of a second and ISO 100 with my DJI Mavic Pro. Now that I think of it, I need to update my gear page with my new flying camera 🙂

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So after yesterday’s update at Shenandoah National Park, I figured I’d give an update at Great Falls Park. I used to come to this park a lot. When I was first getting started with photography in high school AND after I graduated from college (I sort of dropped off while I was in college), I’d come to this park a lot to practice. Since then I think I just got distracted with Washington DC images that I haven’t been back in a long time. It was probably last October since I’ve been back and it felt so good to hear the roar of the water again.

But I may have seen one or two trees that have already changed colors, other than that the park was mostly green. I find this to be good news though because it gives me more reasons to go back in the near future. If you’re looking for some great fall foliage shots, the falls and the Billy Goat trail are awesome to shoot.

Another reason why I sort of stopped going to Great Falls Park was that it started to close it’s gates at night. That meant I couldn’t get in for sunrise. Luckily, sunrise is around 7:20a now and I was at the gate for about 5 minutes before someone showed up to open the gate up at 7a. Pretty perfect timing if you asked me. The parking lot is pretty close to the first overlook which is where I shot this particular image. I had plenty of time to set up for this shot.

My camera settings for this image is F5.0 at 2 seconds ISO 640 with my Sony A7II and my 16-35mm wide angle lens. I also used my neutral density filter to slow down the image and create those awesome water lines on the bottom middle.

 

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I am coming back home this weekend from Bar Harbor, Maine and can’t wait to share these pics with you all! We were up at sunrise, shooting at sunset and even took some night shots! If you’ve been following me on instagram this week, then you would have already known this from my stories. This week has flown by and I’ve been having a blast capturing it all. And let’s not get started with all the lobster I ate. So there it is, that was my official announcement so that the leaves back home can start changing colors. I’ll be back soon and can’t wait to shoot even more fall colors!

Oh and I have also been testing out these circular polarizers while in Maine. I purchased from two different brands on Amazon before I left. One is a slightly more expensive brand name and the other is not. The real test is when I bring them on the computer to see if I can see a difference. If you’re interested, I can create a blog post or a youtube video about them. Just let me know!

This image was taken about this time two years ago at Constitution Gardens in the National Mall. It was not a foggy day, but it was cloudy and dark. I feel like the sky made for a perfect setting for this moody image. One of my favorite things about Constitution Gardens is that its never packed. As a matter of fact, I’m usually the only one there. It’s so perfect! I can blast music from my phone with no ear phones on and no one would even know. So if you hear some reggaeton at 6 in the morning, you know who it is! 😉

My camera settings for this image is 1/25th of a second, F8 at ISO 160 on my Sony A7II 16-35mm wide angle.

 

 

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It seems a little early, but I’m already thinking about pictures this year for fall foliage. Like I mentioned in my blog post last week, our trip to Acadia National Park is already booked.  I’m really looking forward to that adventure, but I want to  find more local places to take pictures. Great Falls Park has always been one of my favorite for this reason. The trees are beautiful and I love seeing the bright colors in contrast with the gigantic waterfall. I also really like it when you can see leaves falling on to the rocks. One of my favorite images from the past couple of years was one at sunset with the evening glow lighting up the Maryland side. Click here to see what I’m talking about. It’s not photoshopped. It was really that bright orange.

On a side note, I have also created this guide if you wanted to check out Great Falls Park yourself. You’ll love it. The guide and the park 🙂  If you’ve never been, the Virginia side is my personal favorite. The Maryland side doesn’t seem to have as many great viewpoints.

In more technical preparations for the fall color, I’ve invested in my first set of circular polarizers for my wide angle and zoom lenses. Hopefully I’ll get a chance to try them out before our trip. But I’ll let you know how I like them when I get back. Here’s a really informative blog post by Digital Photography School that pushed me to actually get them.

The camera settings for this image is 0.4 seconds at F/14 at ISO 100. Shot with no filters on a tripod. My favorite part of this image is being able to see the color of the sky in the water. I think I could stare at that one little section for hours.