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I love how the city gets so patriotic during the 4th of July. Anywhere you walk you can see flags everywhere. But the Willard InterContinental on Pennsylvania Avenue always sticks out in my mind as being one of my favorites. I’ve noticed that every year they will hang American flags outside each of the hotel windows and it just looks so cool from afar.

But for some reason or another, I’ve tried so hard to capture these flags but couldn’t get an image I was happy with. I may have first noticed them 3 years ago. I even tried photographing them last year and said: “Oh well, next year”. But this year was going to be the year.

I had an image in my head of what I wanted to capture ahead of time and I knew I was going to take my time around this building to make sure I got it. Although when I arrived some of the flags were twisted around the pole, this is pretty much what I had in my mind. I love how the white building is the perfect contrast to the flags. But it’s all the horizontal lines and repetition that really gets me. If I ever had a big office building, I’d want to do the same thing.

To be 100% honest though, I’ve been so busy with photographing things for other people and projects that it’s been a while since I had gone out to shoot just for myself. I went out for a little photo-therapy and it felt great. I’ve realized it something that I need to make a priority to do at least once a week, even when its one of those super busy weeks where it seems like I don’t have time. I can’t let it slip anymore.

My camera settings for this image is F8 at 1/160th sec and ISO 500 with my Sony A7II and 70-200mm zoom.

 

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When we booked our hotel I knew the rooftop views were going to be epic, but I didn’t know how good they would be. Here was the view when you walked straight out onto the patio. As soon as we walked out there, my jaw dropped. I loved being able to see so much for the skyline but then I turned to the side and saw this. So cool right? A birds eye view of the Manhattan bridge.

After our first trip to the rooftop, Andrew and I decided to just walk around the city and get some food to eat and run a few errands. We found ourselves all the way up midtown and was shocked by how many people we saw. Somehow we ended up really close to Rockefeller center and literally stood in the same spot for like 10 minutes because there were just so many people. There was no flow of traffic and we were just stuck. Even with police there, no one was moving. It was kind of insane but the best part was this guy in front of me who screamed “ok, who just slapped my ass”. LOL.

Needless to say once we got back to the hotel, we were tired. But I wanted to go back up to the rooftop one more time. I really didn’t want to. The bed was calling my name, but I knew that it was the only opportunity I was going to get.

It was a little awkward walking back to the rooftop. By that time, it was basically a club with everyone all dressed up. I was still in my sneakers and winter coat. Oh well. Anything for the shot, right?

My camera settings for this image is F6.3 at 0.8 sec at ISO 1250 with my Sony A7II and 16-35mm wide angle.

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This is a good story. Or at least I think it is.

So at any given moment you can catch one of these brown pelicans hanging out on a rock in the ocean. They’re pretty cool to look at since we have nothing like them in the DC metro area. So my friend Sue and I decided to just sit down, watch the pelican and relax for a little bit. We actually copied this idea from another couple who were sitting fairly close to the pelican. But once they got up to leave, the pelican started acting funny.

At first Sue and I did not know what was going on, but then saw that he was actually spitting up something on to the rock. He had stored a whole bunch of little fish in his lower bill. So I guess when he thought the coast was clear he felt freedom to start eating them.

That’s when the seagull came.

And it was literally a fight for the fish. It was hilarious. Especially with Sue’s commentary in the background while I was taking the pics. She would be like “uh oh, get your own fish” “oh no, it’s a battle!” “*gasp* he fell into the water”. HAHAHA I actually got some of it on video because I was recording parts of it for my youtube video (coming soon) and that’s the only reason why I remember what she said. But I could not stop laughing in the moment and watching it back on video. It was literally like watching the nature channel in real life.

I don’t remember exactly what happened afterwards, but I do know the seagull ended up flying away after a while.

End story. HAHAHA

My camera settings for this image is F4 at 1/1600the of a second at ISO 160 with my Sony a7II and 70-200mm lens.

 

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When you’re having a good hair day and you want everyone to see it so you pose for the camera. LOL

Another one from one of my favorite places in the whole world, Höfn, Iceland. When I plan my next trip to this tiny island, I definietly want to spend more time in Stokksnes. One morning was not enough. Ideally, I’d like to spend a couple of days. What’s weird though is that it was the hardest place to book a hotel room. One minute we looked at a place and the next minute the same place blew up in prices. When I say blew up, I mean it went up by $500USD in less than 5 minutes. Sooo crazy! And then there were a lot of other places that weren’t even open for business at the time. Its such a small little town but I can see why the demand is so high. It’s amazingly beautiful here. And the horses were seriously an added bonus. They weren’t behind any kind of fence. They were just out here roaming. Next time I need to bring carrots and lure some of them on to the beach. How amazing would that be?

For this image, I was so happy to have my Sony a7ii. Its just so light and compact that it was easy to try out different points of views. The peak design hand strap made it even easier. Most of the time I had my camera down low like at my waist so I could get the horses to look very large and the background a little smaller. Especially with that huge mountain range, a lower point of view is ideal for this look. The thing that made the hand strap so great was that my camera was able to securely get down low, but my body didn’t have to. I was not about to kneel down into that grass. Do you know how much horse poop there was?

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Last week my friend Erin texted me and said that she was going to be in town. She was traveling to DC for a meeting near the White House but had a few hours to kill before it actually started. So I suggested we grab a few drinks at the POV lounge in the W hotel. Great views and great drinks, what could be better for some girl friends to catch up? After some laughs and cocktails, we parted ways by this staircase thats tucked away in the corner of the hotel. I mean how cool is this spiral staircase? It’s like a slightly-tipsy photographer’s dream 🙂