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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.

https://www.instagram.com/p/BjzsHXAA13Z/?tagged=fotswalk18

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!

Keeping watch. #FOTSwalk18 #nofilterneeded

A post shared by Crystal Borde (@cborde) on

Love the mood you captured here, @cborde

I love me me some bird shots too #herons #FOTSwalk18

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

Beautifully framed #fotswalk18

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GORGEOUS frame, @bellasoria. Wow

https://www.instagram.com/p/Bj0YblWHrkR/?tagged=fotswalk18

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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Ok, back to more cherry blossoms images 🙂

Another one of my goals this season was to capture the Martin Luther King Jr Memorial with the cherry blossoms. If I was going to be at the Tidal Basin, I wanted to try different things from what I typically do. Going back and looking at my images, I barely have any of the Jefferson Memorial and the cherry blossoms. So weird, right? Last year they were like peanut butter and jelly. This year it was like the Jefferson Memorial didn’t even show up to the party.

I also realized that I don’t have very many images of the Martin Luther King Jr memorial in general, let alone with the cherry blossoms. So anytime I was close or even from far away, I was trying out different compositions. I was determined to get something I liked.

This one was taken about 30 minute before sunrise. As you can see, another windy morning but I love the color combination of the pink flowers with the blueish looking sky. We got real lucky this year. We had almost two solid weeks of cherry blossoms, compared to last year when we didn’t even have a week. So I had time to play with compositions. I still haven’t gone through all the images yet, but this one stood out to me. I like how he still looks very powerful and determined with the cherry blossom framing him. Like nothing can distract him, not even pretty flowers. On the other hand, I’m the one who’s driving around and will break for pretty flowers growing in people’s yards and point them out to all my passengers. Ask Andrew. He’s not a fan of when I do that. LOL

My camera settings for this image is F5.6 at 0.6 seconds and ISO 500 with my Sony A7II and 28-70mm lens on my gitzo tripod.

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On my quest to find different cherry blossom angles, I came across this one. I love the way that it turned out. Whenever I look at it, it makes me feel like I’m in some kind of cherry blossom jungle and I have to somehow make my way over to the Washington Monument without making any of the pedals fall off. Is that weird? I dunno…

I met up with my friend, Larry and took him to a part of the Tidal Basin he had never been to before. It’s one of my favorite spots to go to especially during cherry blossom season because not a lot of people know about it and its usually far less crowded than the other places in the Tidal Basin. I have taken a couple of images from this place before, you can see them here and here. If you’re interested in seeing where this is, check out this map. I took it at that little part where it says “Kutz Bridge”. You have to cross Independence Ave to get to it from the larger part of the Tidal Basin but its well worth it.

Shout out to my friend, Navin for one of my favorite cherry blossom images ever and he took it from this exact location. It was because of him that I’ve been inspired to take so many different images from here but it would be very difficult to top his. Doesn’t mean I won’t keep trying though.

But with the crazy wind and rain that we got Sunday evening til Monday, it’s pretty safe to say that the cherry blossom season in Washington DC is over now. Don’t worry though, I took soooo many pics. It’s a little overwhelming to go through them all but just be expecting them… for about the next year or so. LOL. JK I didn’t take that many but it feels like I did.

My camera settings for this image is F8 at 1/10th of a second at ISO 640 with my Sony A7II and 16-35mm wide angle lens handheld.

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I hope you don’t mind but there are going to be a lot of flowers on my blog from now til about June. LOL. The cherry blossoms are starting to look real nice around the city and I’m really looking forward to getting out there and shooting them. For now, I’m enjoying all the other flowers that are popping up. These flowers are actually the same ones as the ones I captured in the snow. Turns out they weren’t cherry blossoms after all. LOL they look so different covered in all that cold white stuff.

As I was out shooting this, I was thinking to myself how nice and peaceful it was. It’s probably because I was just doing what I love, with my ear phones in listening to my favorite music and just enjoying the early morning air. There weren’t a lot of people around so I felt so free to try different compositions and ideas with my images. Thats when it came to me. I have a new goal for this year’s cherry blossom season. I want to capture the cherry blossoms in other places around the city other than the Tidal Basin. Don’t get me wrong though. I’ll still be down by the water and monuments, I just want to spend that extra time in other places too.

If you have not seen this already, the US Capitol came out with a map showing exactly where cherry blossoms are blossoming around the grounds. It inspired me to further research other places. I have a couple in mind already but if you know of any other places where there’s some good cherry blossoms, please let me know!

My camera settings for this image is F9 at 1/8th of a second and ISO 500 with my Sony A7II 28-70mm lens.

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Our days in Acadia National Park went as follows:

4:30a wake up for sunrise
5:30a make our way to the sunrise location
7:00a go for an early morning hike
Finish around 11-12p and eat breakfest/lunch
Go back to the hotel for a much needed nap
Wake up go on another hike
5:30p make our way to the sunset location and shoot the full moon
8p Dinner
9:30p HOT TUB TIME

It may sound intense but we got a lot done with just 2 full days in the park. We did everything we wanted to do, including the Bubble Rock hike. This was our first day’s afternoon hike. To be honest, I think we just wanted to do the hike because it’s called Bubble Rock. It’s a funny name and the entire way up we were making up songs and dances about it. It was hilarious. Plus it took our minds off how intensely steep the hike was. It was a short hike but very vertical. I was huffin’ and puffin’ the entire way up.

This image was taken about 3/4ths of the way up. At first I thought it was THE bubble rock but it wasn’t. Must have been wishful thinking and hoping that the hike was over. It actually was just a miniature version of the real thing but still thought it looked cool. I brought my camera up to my eye when that girl just jumped onto the rock and started to eat an apple. I was so happy when she did. I love how the tree trunks frame the rock and her just sitting there was the extra element it needed. I kinda felt like a creeper, but oh well. It happens.

The settings for this image was F/10 at 1/40th of a second ISO 250. I made it with my Sony A7II and my 28-70mm zoom lens.

 

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It’s what everyone’s talking about and I’m still undecided if I want to shoot the solar eclipse on Monday. There are several reasons why but one of the biggest ones is that we’ll only be able to see a partial eclipse from the DC Metro area. Unfortunately we’re not in line with where total eclipse will be taking place. So I’m still undecided if I even want to try. I’m not even sure if I will even have the right equipment for it. Theres just so much hype surrounding the eclipse. It’s difficult to not fall into the trap. I may just try my best with what I have and if it turns out, then it turns out. Don’t be upset if I don’t get anything 🙂

Anyways, here’s a pretty image of the Washington Monument at sunset to distract you from all the eclipse talk. HAHA.

I love shooting the monument at sunset. If you’re there at the right time when the sun in shining directly on the monument, then it turns these amazing colors of red and orange. It’s like a sword in the sky with how powerful it looks. It’s absolutely breathtaking in real life. And to capture it with all these trees as framing was an added bonus. The Washington Monument is truly different at all times of the day. You just have to be aware of what you are witnessing.

The settings for this image was F6.3 at 1/80th of a second at ISO 25o handheld.

Hope you all have a great weekend. And if you’re planning on shooting the eclipse, best of luck to you! Tell me where you’re shooting from and send me your shots. I’d love to see them! May your day be filled with clear skies and plenty of space on your memory card!