hike

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Before leaving Geiranger, Andrew and I decided to go on a 30 minute hike. It wasn’t too far from the cabin where we were staying and an excellent way to get some physical activity in before we got back on the road to our next destination. What started off as just a normal hike along a mountain ended up being one of my favorite memories of the entire trip.

The beginning of the hike started off pretty flat, but that wasn’t going to last long. I could see about half a mile ahead of us, we were about to go up a little hill and turn the corner as soon as we got to the top. So we started our hike with that view just ahead of us. It hadn’t even been 10 minutes into when I saw two ears and a little head pop up from around the corner. OMG was that an alpaca? I turned around to Andrew to see if he saw what I was seeing and he was! Then all of the sudden 2 more heads popped up and I screamed “THERE’S EVEN MORE OF THEM!” I could not contain my excitement. I think in the end there was about 5 or 6 of them. I had my long lens on and captured a few images from a distance but immediately switched to my wide angle. There was no way I was not going to walk closer to them. Can you imagine see a group of alpacas with the Norwegian mountains and fjords as the backdrop? Holy crap my mind was blown.

The rest of the hike was great. More about that later but seriously these alpacas were so cool to see. I’m still smiling ear to ear just thinking about it.

My camera settings for this image is F4.0 at 1/3200th of a second at ISO 800 with my Sony A7II and 16-35mm wide angle lens.

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This was my very first time camping. And when I say camping, I mean real camping. No running water, no bathrooms, sleeping outside in the wilderness, as real as it’s going to get. To be honest, I was a little nervous. Sleeping on the ground never really interested me much, plus I hate getting mosquito bites.

Luckily we went with my sister-in-law’s family who had experience camping and they were super prepared. Like they brought burners so we had hot food for every meal, 2 water filtration systems, and even a shovel so we could dig poop holes. I KNOW RIGHT! WE HAD TO DIG HOLES TO POOP IN!!!! It was so the bears couldn’t smell us. I’m still so grateful Andrew came with us last minute on this trip. He shoveled all my poop holes. I just had to cover them when I was done with my business.

I also thought I’d be super uncomfortable not being able to shower for 2 nights. But in the end, the non-showering part wasn’t even that bad. LOL.

But every morning I woke up to views like this. No alarm clock needed. Just woke up with the sun woke up. And it was totally worth it. Would I go again? I dunnooooo. Maybe in a couple of years. The experience was great and all but it just made me appreciate a mattress so much more. Side note, the elevation was so high that there weren’t even any mosquitos 🙂 Double win!

I’m glad we did it though! Here’s a group shot of us right before we were about to hike back down the trail. We would spend nights sitting on this tree trunk talking and looking up at the stars, so I thought it was an appropriate place for us to take our last group shot.

My camera settings were F7.1 at 1/320th of a second at ISO 160 with my Sony A7II and 16-35mm wide angle lens.

 

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This image reminds me of this song. No particular reason why but whenever I am feeling like I’m “on top of the world” Brandy immediately comes to mind. LOL and the music video used to be so ground breaking back in the day with the different camera angels. HAHA.

Anyways, this image is from top of Old Rag Mountain in Shenandoah National Park in Virginia. I love the perspective because it almost seems like the people are just as large as the boulders. Believe me, those boulders are HUGE! And there I go again with the 3’s 🙂

The hike up to the summit is no joke though. I was pouring sweat the entire time. The east coast humidity didn’t help much either. I’m pretty sure those people were feeling it as well. But I’ve been getting private questions about how I find my hikes so I thought I’d address that here. Usually I’ll go by word of mouth and other people’s recommendations but if I’m looking into something totally new and different, then All Trails is definietly my go-to. It gives you all the information and more to prepare for your trip. My favorite part is when other hikers include images from their hikes so you can get a feel for what to expect.

All Trail labeled this hike hard and I would definietly agree. Our group had to stop a couple of times for water breaks but if you do this, I’d highly recommend brining more than just a little snack. Andrew and I both brought Vietnamese Báhn Mì Sandwiches and we were still hungry. So if you plan on hiking Old Rag, prepare for a long hike with amazing views on top!

My camera settings for this image is F5.0 at 1/1600th of a second at ISO 400 with my Sony A7II and 28-70mm lens.

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This may sound crazy but a couple weeks ago I bought my very first pair of real hiking boots. For the amount of hiking that I’ve done with just plain ol’ sneakers, these definietly came at the right time. Don’t get me wrong or anything, I feel no aches or pains with my sneakers, I just think that I’ll be better supported with some proper footwear. They’ll definietly come in handy next month 😉

But for now, heres an image from my last hike. This was taken at the end of the trail at Old Rag in Shenandoah National Park. Just steps away from the parking lot was this house covered by trees and bushes. It down poured on us at the end of our hike. By the time I reached this house it had already stopped raining but all the steam that came from the rain and the humidity mixing literally made everything glow. I just love how that one branch is pointing directly at the point of the roof to make everything so centered in this image. Even the trees surrounding the house almost look perfectly straight as if they were grown for this image. Everything is just so straight up and down, I love it!

Also, if you’re not busy tonight, you should definietly come out to the Community Collective show at Sospeso. This is the third time that my friend, Jarrett has put together a show to showcase so many creative people in the Washington DC area. It should be a great time. I even have a piece that will be featured and is for sale. So if you’re interested in seeing some great art work, click here to find out more information 🙂

The settings for this image is F5.0 at 1/320th of a second at ISO 800 with my Sony A7II and 28-70mm lens.

 

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Honesty hour…

Lately I’ve been thinking about my style of photography. I think I’m most known for sunrise at the Washington DC monuments, but I want to be more than just that. I want to become a more well rounded photographer that can photograph much more than empty, open spaces. I want expand and push my creativity. I’ve started to photograph more street, lifestyle, and portrait work but haven’t really said anything about. I haven’t really said anything about it because it’s not what I’m known for. And is it really even that good? I dunno, but I am enjoying it and when it comes down to it, that’s all that really matters, right?

So this is an example of the type of work that I’m leaning more towards. Don’t get me wrong, I still love my landscapes and sunrises but I’m expanding. This was taken memorial day weekend on the Old Rag trailhead in the Shenandoah Mountains. Typically I would have waited to bring out my camera until we got to the summit of the mountain and photographed the landscape but this time I wanted to capture the experience of what it was like to get to the top. This image is of my cousin, Mona, my sister-in-law, Audrey, Andrew and another hiker who just happened to be standing at the right spot at the right time. For me, it perfectly describes what it’s like. Cautious getting to the top while climbing over big ass boulders with amazing views along the way. My favorite part of the image is Mona’s body position and the way she’s getting around the rocks.

I have many more images that I took while on this hike. I’ve already sprinked a few here and there and theres more to come. So let me know what you think of these. I’d love to know!

My camera settings for this image is F5.0 at 1/1000th of a second and ISO 400 with my Sony A7II and 28-70mm lens.

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Like I said last week, the hike up old rag was strenuous. It was hot, humid and I was sweating all over the place. In total it took us about 6 hours to complete. You know you’re on top of the mountain when you have these huge rocks you have to climb. I had no idea that it would require so much upper body strength. Shout out to my cousin, Brian who I’ve been working out with 3-4 times a week. I feel like all that working out prepared me for this hike and this hike only. LOL. I had done the trail before but always needed assistance climbing up the rocks. This time I didn’t need any! I came home with a lot of bruises, but at least I didn’t need anyone’s hand to help pull me up 🙂

We were super lucky though. Right when we were done with the rock climbing part and we were about to reach the part where you just walk down the mountain, it started pouring. Like lightning, thunder, soaking wet! I can not imagine what it was like for the people who had to rock climb in all that rain because it was intense! But for us walking down it felt so good. I feel like it relieved us of the heat, all the steaminess of our sweat and humidity went away and it just felt so refreshing. Luckily, I packed a rain sleeve for my camera so all my electronics in my backpack was safe. I didn’t even think to bring one for myself. As long as my camera was ok, I’ll be ok.

We ended up walking a good 3-4 miles in non-stop rain. It wasn’t too bad but neither one of us wanted to stop for a break so it went by super quickly.

My camera settings for this image is F5.0 at 1/50th of a second at ISO 400 with my Sony A7II and 28-70mm lens.