focus on the story

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Now for my very special news:

I’m so excited to announce my very first travel workshop! Join me and my friends at Focus on the Story for a truly memorable and exciting week long photography workshop in CHICAGO! I can already feel that it’s going to be fantastic. No matter your skill level, I will be leading you through daily photo excursions with one-on-one critiques to support group sessions that will further your skills as a photographer. By the end of it all, you’ll definietly leave the windy city with images you’ll be proud of and lots of great stories to tell.

What makes this workshop different than others is that it’s a very “Go With the Flow” mentality. That means we tailor each excursion depending on weather conditions AND what is best for the group. I’m here to help you to achieve your photography goals and it won’t happen with a cookie cutter curriculum.

The focus of the workshop will be a mix of street, landscape and architectural photo opportunities. We are limiting the amount of participants so I can make sure to focus on your needs and to create a strong shared experience among the participants. So I hope you’re as pumped as I am because I can’t wait to hang out with you for a week in one of the most exciting cities in America.

Click here for all the full information and please let me know if you have any additional questions about any of this.

The above image was captured in O’hare airport. It’s been a while since I’ve been back to Chicago and looking forward to exploring the city with you all! My camera settings for this image is F4.5 at 1/320th sec at ISO 1600 with my Sony A7II and 16-35mm wide angle lens.

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Clear your calendars for July 18th. Come join me, Geoff Livingston and Focus on the Story for an evening with the Washington Monuments. Geoff and I actually met at the second photo walk I hosted for the Focus on the Story International Photo Festival earlier this summer and I was super excited when he asked me to help him host this event. It will be a great evening talking about long exposure, composition techniques as well as street photography tips at night.  But I think the most interesting part is the fact that there will be three different instructors with three completely different take on things. No matter what, I’m sure you’ll go home with a slightly different perceptive at photographing night images.

And in case you want to get to know us a little better, heres a little ten minute video of Geoff and I talking about the Monuments at Night workshop, Snap DC, etc.  Seats are limited so sign up today! Click here for the link.  Hope to see you there! It will definietly be a good time and don’t forget your tripod!

So as an example of the type of images you could capture at this event, here’s an image I took at the end of 2016. I remember I was walking back to my car when I captured it. I was out shooting sunset by the reflecting pool but still had my camera out. Thank goodness I also had my tripod as well or else I would not have been able to capture these cool car trails driving by on Independence Ave. I think it brings so much life to the image. I also love that light that’s shining above the Jefferson Memorial. Something that would be hard to see without the long exposure.

My camera settings for this image is F5.0 at 2.5 seconds and ISO 250 with my Sony A7II and 28-70mm

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Still basking in the glow of the photowalk this past Saturday. It was so much better than expected. To be honest, I was only expecting about 25 people to show up. But about 10 minutes before the photowalk was scheduled to happen, people were were just pouring in. It was so awesome and exciting! I may have counted at least 70 people in total. I still can’t believe it. Thanks again for everyone who woke up so early to walk around the Mall with me. I had such a great time meeting and talking to you all!

Even the weather was better than expected. The days leading up to the event called for some really cloudy skies. Meaning a really dark, probably uneventful sunrise due to rain we were expecting later in the day. Luckily, the weather gods were with us and the clouds parted a bit to bring in these cotton candy, puffy clouds. It was so beautiful, especially at that pre-dawn blue hour.

This image was taken at about 4:55a. I arrived to the Lincoln Memorial early just in case and met up with my friend, Larry for a quick little photoshoot at the Reflecting Pool. He always early to everything so I knew he would have been there even before I arrived. My favorite part of this image is the fog that you can see on either side of the reflecting pool. Those trees are actually along side a path way. The pathway has trees on both sides of it so if you’re lucky enough to see fog, sometimes it gets trapped in there and creates this amazing atmosphere. I just wish I had more time to photograph it.

My camera settings for this image is F8 at 10 seconds and ISO 400 with my Sony A7II and 16-35mm wide angle lens.

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Thank you, Thank you, Thank you Focus on the Story International Photo Festival for an AMAZING festival. I felt so inspired and grateful the entire weekend. I got to see so many amazing images, watched so many great presentations and best of all hugged so many wonderful photographers. I could not be more thrilled.

Obviously my favorite part of the entire weekend was the photowalk. I am still shocked and so honored that about 70 people showed up on a Saturday morning at 5am to walk around the National Mall. Thank you so much to everyone who came out. I hope you had as much fun as I did.

And I can’t help but smile while I scroll through the #FOTSwalk18 hashtag on instagram. The weather called for partly cloudy skies and we even got a little bit of fog rolling through, it was perfect! There were so many great images and I wish I could post them all! But here are a few:

Special shout out to @chantale1 for the group shot at the beginning of our walk.

Lovely long exposure, @rodb_pics

Bennett stole the show, @eugeneksoh! Great portrait, @wvugee

I loveeee this! Thank you so much for capturing this action shot, @geoffliving

Beautiful image of @julwriter, @metroamir. I love the reflection!

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Keeping watch. #FOTSwalk18 #nofilterneeded

A post shared by Crystal Borde (@cborde) on

Love the mood you captured here, @cborde

Another photowalk, Another blue heron. I’m noticing a pattern. Thanks so much for these amazing captures, @bellasoria.

GORGEOUS frame, @bellasoria. Wow

Love all repetition in this one, @heatheronthego

Thanks again to everyone who came out. I’m so grateful to have so many talented photographer friends. Be sure to check out the #FOTSwalk18 hashtag to see more images from the walk. And thanks again to Focus on the Story for putting on such an amazing photo festival! I can’t wait for the next one 🙂


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Just a little reminder that I’ll be hosting another photowalk tomorrow morning at 5:20a. We’re meeting at the Lincoln Memorial as a part of the Focus on the Story International Photo Festival. We’ll walk around the National Mall, talk photography and cameras, and have a great time! Did I mention there will be donuts?

If you’ve never been to a photowalk before, it’s super casual and super fun. Please come with your smily face on because there’s nothings better than to meet people who have the same interests as you. People who know exactly what you’re talking about and share the same enthusiasm as you. And let’s be honest here. If you’re meeting someone new at 5:20a, you know they’ve got to have the same enthusiasm as you! So set your alarms and I hope to see you tomorrow! If you do come tomorrow, use the hashtag #FOTSwalk18 so everyone can look at each other pics. Just like last time, I’ll share some of my favs on my blog on Monday 🙂

This image was taken earlier this year in the winter before sunrise. I knew I arrived a bit early but it was ok because the blue hour was looking gorgeous. I parked my car and made my way over to the Lincoln Memorial. We got a little bit of snow the day before so the puddles were looking great. I noticed how cool the street lights looked in this particular puddle so I spent sometime with the reflections. My favorite part of the image are the clouds though. It gives that much needed texture in the sky and in the water.

So hope to see you tomorrow! If not, have a great weekend and hope you’re doing something you love to do.

My camera settings for this image is F5.6 at 0.3 seconds at ISO 500 with my Sony A7II and 16-35mm handheld.

All photos available for print and licensing >

Special Announcement! I’m hosting my very first photowalk and I’m so excited!!!

It’s happening on Saturday June 9th at 5:20a meeting at the Lincoln Memorial. Mark yo calendars. Super early, I know, but it will be so fun. I’m teaming up with the Focus on the Story International Photo Festival for a super cool Saturday morning. Don’t quote me on this but I heard they’re bringing Krispe Kremes too. So what could be better than the National Mall, sunrise, donuts and ME?! LOL.

Click here to sign up for the free event. And while you’re at it, check out some of the other events that will be going on that weekend. I’ve signed up for a couple myself and really looking forward to learning from other photographers.

This image was taken in August 2016 but I still remember the details of taking it. It was a super humid summer evening and we were expecting thunderstorms that night. So with weather conditions like that, I thought the sunset would be super colorful. It was, but only along the bottom of the sky, right above the horizon. So I decided to crop the top part and focus more on the water ripples. I don’t know if this image would have been as successful as it is without the water because I think the best part of it was catching the color reflection. It makes it seem a lot more colorful and dramatic than it really was. The most interesting part to me is that little line that flows down the center left hand side of the reflecting pool. I love the way that it bounces from one side to another so subtly.

So that’s our meeting spot! The Lincoln Memorial! Don’t forget to register for the sunrise photowalk and see ya there!

My camera settings for this image is F6.3 at 1/10th of a second at ISO 250 with my Sony A7II and 28-70mm lens.