glow

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Chicago is such a photogenic city. I felt like everywhere I turned there was a new image to capture and I probably took way more pictures than I had expected to prior to leaving for the trip. Which is 100% why I am so excited for the photo workshop in July. The whole time I was walking around the city, I just envisioned walking around with some of you and having so much fun with our cameras. I was so inspired by Chicago and the vibe that I think I found some great photo spots to help you create some stunning images. So if you’re interested in learning more about spending a week with me in Chicago, click here. Feel free to send me or Focus on the Story any questions you may have.

This image was captured a little bit after sunrise. To be honest, I was surprised by how many people were out there so early in the morning. A little surprised, but not really because I did notice a lot of people walking around with cameras. Even in the non-touristy spots, there were photographers everywhere. But I’m glad I was there in the early morning because this spot can get real packed, real quick. Also that amazing glow that was going on underneath the bean was stunning! As soon as I saw it, I just kept on hoping and waiting for someone to walk right underneath. This lady was under the bean all by herself taking pictures and I love how her outfit just matched that early morning light.

PS Can you spot me in the image? Andrew is standing just a few steps behind me. I love how reflective that surface is.

My camera setting for this image is F4 at 1/1600th sec and ISO 250 with my Sony A7II and 16-35mm wide angle lens.

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Washington DC is starting to warm up and everyone is enjoying the weather! Especially this guy on the Lincoln Memorial ROOF! I mean what?! How can I get up there?

But I love this image because you can just feel the warmth. This was taken during sunrise. It was a particularly beautiful sunrise and it was very bright too. So I knew if I turned around from looking at the Reflecting Pool, that the Lincoln Memorial would probably be glowing as well. I was right. I think I may have been the only one with my back towards the colorful sky but I think that photographing the warm tones on the white marble is just as beautiful and sometimes even more difficult to capture. This glow probably lasted for 5 minutes before the light went back behind the clouds.

It was a total surprise to see that man on top of the roof. Everytime I see a guy up there, I always want to capture them because it’s just such a unique thing to see. But now that construction is in full swing, it’s becoming more and more common. I thought it would be interesting to use the scale of the columns and the Lincoln statute itself to show the scale of everything. Plus I really enjoy looking at that little sliver of orange that’s in President Lincoln’s hair.

One day I would really love to get up there. It has to be the coolest view of the city. This guy knows it because I could definietly tell he was taking pictures of the sunrise with his cell phone. Lucky. Hopefully roof repairs mean that we can go up there one day? I doubt it but fingers crossed.

My camera settings for this image is F4 at 1/80th sec and ISO 500 with my Sony A7II and 70-200mm zoom lens.

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Speaking of fog, Saturday was really foggy. There were times that you could not even see the Washington Monument it was so foggy. But at sunrise, the fog brought this beautiful glow to the city and it was amazing.

On this particular day, I parked on Ohio Dr. so coming from that side of the National Mall, I had my first glimpse of the US Capitol at the Reflecting Pool. I love how the dome is partially covered by the mist and lights. This was the very first shot I took and probably my favorite from the entire morning. I didn’t have my tripod with me so I sort of balanced my camera along the side of the reflecting pool and for this shot it worked well. Others, not so much. Another reason why this is my favorite shot. LOL.

So I have been getting questions about foggy mornings. Just like a colorful sunrise, they’re hard to predict. This particular morning I knew it was going to be foggy because the night before had been incredibly foggy and the weather apps said it was going to last all night. However, there have been times that I have been out and knew there was going to be fog without the weather apps saying so. I’ve realized that when I listen to the radio or a weather forecast and the meteorologist says, “warm front” then there’s a good chance for fog. It’s the combination of the warm air mixing with the cold that brings the foggy mornings and I love it. Foggy mornings like this is what makes photography so much fun. You just never know what you’re going to get.

My camera settings for this image is F5.6 at 0.6 sec and ISO 800 with my Sony A7II with my 70-200mm ultra zoom lens.

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While I was busy storm chasing the other day, I didn’t even notice the sunset that was happening. I figured with so much rain, cloudiness and overall darkness going on that we weren’t even going to get a sunset. I was totally wrong. It was this incredibly glowing pink, orange, purple color. I’m not sure if I’ve ever seen anything like it and was completely shocked when I did. Man at least I saw it for the last 5 minutes because I would have been real upset if I missed it.

I was standing in between the columns when I noticed the glow out of the corner of my left eye. I scrambled inside the memorial because I knew the only way to shoot with a cool foreground and not stand in the rain was to shoot the Jefferson statue. I am so glad there are little openings all the way around the memorial because I love the way this image turned out. The reflection on the marble floor is super nice too. I consciously made an effort to include that in the image while I was shooting.

The sunset lasted about 5 minutes (for me at least) and then I went right back to my spot in between the columns to shoot the lightning. Overall it was a great night for photography and I am so glad I was able to go out.

Funny though, the first song that I heard on the radio when I got back into my car was Lightning Crashes by Live. That song brings back so many childhood memories for me. LOL. Mostly of me sneaking into my brothers room and listening to his cd collection.

The settings for this image is F5.6 at 0.4 seconds at ISO 400 with my Sony A7II and 16-35mm and a tripod.

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Happy Monday! I may be the only one who’s counting down the days but 6 more days til the release of Snap DC!!!!! I can’t hold back the excitement. You are going to love the guide book. It’s seriously everything I know about shooting in Washington all in one book. I don’t think there was anything more I could have added to it except for maybe this image! LOL

As a side note, there are images in Snap DC that you’ve never seen before! Images that I’ve never posted anywhere or anything. They’ve just been living on my computer so I’m excited for you to see those too!

This image was taken in December, way after the content of the book was complete. But I love it. Obviously it was taken super early in the morning. Not sure exactly the time, but this was the day that I woke up at 3:30am to shoot. See other images from this day here and here. It was so worth waking up that early too. I love how the image is pretty dark except for that gorgeous glow that’s coming up on the horizon. A few minutes later all the color was gone. So to say we were lucky to get the color is an understatement.

To be honest, it has been a while since I’ve seen a great sunrise in Washington but I’m not complaining. The weather has been fantastic lately. So even waking up super early (like 4:30a) on a regular non-spectacular sunrise day is worth it just to walk around and enjoy the outdoors. It just makes the day feel like it’s super long and I’m a huge fan of eating lunch and then taking a nap. You just sleep so much better on a full stomach. LOL.

My camera settings for this image is F5.6 at 3.2 seconds at ISO 200 with my Sony A7II and 16-35mm wide angle lens on a tripod.

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I took this image at the same time I captured this one. Except at this time I did not know my batteries were dying. I was too busy enjoying the beautiful light that was peaking through the Japanese cherry blossom trees and kept on shooting and shooting away.

This whole cherry blossom season has been very cloudy. I think there may have been just 1 or 2 days that I was out that we actually had some sun out of the 2 weeks that they were here. So I was super excited to see the blossoms glowing.

You can’t tell, but I was standing next to my friend, Jarrett while capturing it. He’s the kind of friend that we never make plans to see each other but we always run into each other while taking pics. I always enjoy running into him, especially around the tidal basin because we have so much in common. He’s the type of person that you can say anything to him and he’ll have a funny story to tell you about that. So if you ever run in to Jarrett while taking pics, just ask him if he likes fried chicken. LOL.

So now that the cherry blossom season is pretty much done for this year, I some how forgot to mention this everywhere but on my newsletter that I updated my cherry blossom guide. LOL. I was in the shower the other day and realized I hadn’t put it on social media or anything! It was definietly a doh moment! So better late than never? At least you can use these tips for next year? Sorry about that. Here’s the link if you still have any interest.

My camera settings for this image is F8 at 1/160th of a second at ISO 400 with my Sony A7II and 28-70mm lens handheld.