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Wow! Remember this past winter I kept on saying that this year is the year of the fog. We had so many crazy foggy days and it was so awesome. On this day I was out with my friend, Birch and seriously walked the Mall with what seemed like hundreds of pictures. Every angle was a cool angle because the fog made everything look so different. It was difficult not to take a spooky looking picture.

But the weirdest part about this day was we captured this around 11a. So weird! I don’t know about you, but I usually associate fog with early mornings and then it fades away as the sun comes up. But this was pretty much in the middle of the day so I didn’t even need a tripod. It was fantastic!

Well, I’m hoping that fog follows me to the west coast because today I’m flying out to San Francisco. I’ve always wanted to capture the fog over the Golden Gate bridge and I heard that August is probably the best time to actually witness it. So please cross your fingers for me that the fog comes rolling in. *C’mon year of the fog!* I’ve already book marked some of the places where I want to photograph to capture it all. If you have any suggestions for me while I’m in San Francisco, please let me know! Photography or food spots are appreciated 🙂 I’ll just be in the bay area for the weekend and will be meeting up with my family early next week. I’m going a few days earlier just to take pictures around the city and hopefully meet up with some photo friends along the way 🙂

My camera settings for this image is F4.5 at 1/640th of a second at ISO 320 with my Sony A7II and 16-35mm wide angle lens.

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I’ve said it once and I’ll say it again, I am so grateful for the DC creative community. I’ve learned so, so much just by meeting up with various photographers and taking pictures with them. Just seeing how they work and how they “see” things inspires me to want to create more than just my typical sunrise shots. Whether it’s street, portraits, or whatever, I am grateful for everyone being so open and willing to share their ideas.

This is definietly the case with my friend, Birch. She has always been a photographer I admired on Instagram. Her point of view is so interesting but we hadn’t connected offline until the beginning of this year. Once we finally met, I feel like we became instant friends. Not only did she have a lot of the same ideas about creativity and photography as I do but we have a lot of the same interests besides art. So since our initial meeting, we’ve been getting together to take pictures quiet often. You can find us talking about the latest audiobooks we’ve been listening to, working out, or even bucket list travel destinations.

What I love most about her photography is how simple she makes everything. For the most part, she’s only carrying her 70-200mm whenever we go out shooting which is so different than me! Don’t get me wrong, I’m not a photographer with a whole bunch of gear in her backpack but I’m usually with a wide angle lens and a zoom lens and that’s it. But with her 70-200mm telephoto zoom lens, she’s able to capture so many things that I usually would not even notice.

When we first met, I told her that I wanted to get a 100-400mm. I’ve tried it out since then and to be honest, it’s just kind of a big boy lens to be carrying around on casual photowalks. Maybe sometime in the future. But last week I purchased  the 70-200mm sony lens, inspired by Birch so that hopefully I can see things in a whole new way. Be prepared to see things a lot more close up. LOL.

This image of the row houses is also inspired by her. I loved the way she captured them in Capitol Hill so last time I was in Georgetown, I thought I’d try something similar . Thanks for being such an inspiration, Birch! If you haven’t already, definietly follow her on the gram 🙂

The settings for this image is F8 at 1/160th of a second ISO 800 with my Sony A7II and 28-70mm zoom.

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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

A post shared by Marlise Soria (@bellasoria) on

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

Beautifully framed #fotswalk18

A post shared by Marlise Soria (@bellasoria) on

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 🙂

 

This past weekend was absolutely amazing for so many reasons. But most of all it was for the photowalk that happened Saturday at the Tidal Basin. Thank you so much to IGDC for hosting. I had the time of my life! Thank you to my friends who came out but also the new ones I met that evening. The weather was cloudy, the water levels were extremely high (the highest I’ve ever seen), but it seemed like everyone came out with amazing pictures. So before I share some of my own, I wanted to highlight some of my favorites from the walk. If you’d like to see more of what everyone created, check out #igdcsnapdc on instagram.

There were so many great images to choose from but here are a few of my favorites:

The beginning of our walk started at the Jefferson Memorial and we were greeted by prom! I love the way you captured this, @ciarasandborg

@pootie_ting, the framing in this is incredible!

The tide is high. #igdc #igdcsnapdc #theamericancollective #WHPgetlost

A post shared by Albert "Pootie" Ting (@pootie_ting) on

@jane_connors, I’m so glad you captured the heron under the cherry blossom trees. This turned out fantastic!

https://www.instagram.com/p/Bi_5HH_Al5y/?taken-by=jane_connors

So many birds! But I love how they are framing the Jefferson Memorial. Stunning capture, @virginia.cheng

LOL talk about perfect timing, @mica4life. This makes me smile 🙂

The sky turned moody very quickly after sunset. This is so great, @dcrooks_us

Blue hour #igdcsnapdc

A post shared by David Crooks (@dcrooks_us) on

And after the photowalk officially ended, the Washington Monument decided to light up the sky. This is AH-MAZING @zackowicz

https://www.instagram.com/p/BjAmY4sAh1S/?taken-by=zackowicz

Thanks again for those who walked! I appreciate you spending your Saturday evening with me. I hope you had a great time but most importantly felt inspired to take more pictures around the National Mall.

Snap DC is officially released on Amazon. If you haven’t already, check it out. It’s available in paperback or kindle and I hope you love it!

 

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I know that it is not healthy, but a lot of times when I get sad, I just bottle it in. It’s hard for me to truly express how I’m feeling so instead of trying to explain myself or avoid a super long conversation, I’ll keep it to myself. It’s awful, I know and I need to stop.

So a couple of weeks ago, I was feeling a little down and decided that I’d work on some images to hopefully make me forget about things. If I try to think back on it now, I have no idea what I was sad about. I just remember trying to evoke that emotion into this image I was working on. I did it by adding super dark tones into the shadows of this image but I knew the feeling would pass so I wanted to keep the cherry blossoms light. My FAVORITE part of the image is the little bit of light that’s hitting the front tree trunk. I think that glow is so special.

Well, I posted it on instagram and Vanessa suggested that my friend, Christopher and I should collab on this piece. If you’re not familiar with Christopher’s work he’s thehappiestswamponearth on instagram and he takes images and composites Disney characters in to them. You have to check it out if you like images that will make you smile.

We talked about it a little over dm and we both agreed that the image had a little bit of sadness in it. A couple of weeks later he sent me this!

OMG this image turned from sad to something so sweet and magical. I love, love, love the way that it turned out. Bambi and his mom look so precious in that little corner, I can’t even  express how happy this makes me. SEE I’m not good at expressing my feelings but I LOVE IT.

The camera settings for F5.0 at 1/30th of a second at ISO 400 with my Sony a7II and 16-35mm wide angle lens.

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So it’s been one week since I decided to delete instagram off my phone. To be honest, I never expected all the kind comments and emails. I appreciate it sooo so much. You have no idea. Everyone has been extra supportive but I have decided that Ill download Instagram again for the Cherry Blossoms at the latest. Don’t get me wrong though out of the 7 sunrises that have happened since my instabreak, I’ve gone out to shoot 4 times. So even though I’m not documenting it all on social media, I’m still at it as much as I can.

What have I learned from the break? I spend entirely too much time staring at my phone! I don’t need to catch up with my friends by seeing what they’re doing on the internet. I can simply call them or text them and find out what’s been going on straight from the horse’s mouth and its so much better that way. I’ve also learned to be more present. At times I’ll be walking around and think to myself, what should my next instastory be? or this would be great for an instastory. This past weekend while I was walking around I thought, wow that tree is beautiful, I’m just going to take a picture of it because I like it. No one else has to see it, but me.

Now I’m not sure if this has any correlation or not, but I’m also taking the time to learn more too. I’ve been consuming so many youtube videos, listening to audiobooks and just reading in general. I’ve been learning a lot about mindset, wealth and photoshop tutorials. It’s been great!

Overall, I am so grateful for the break. It was definietly a recharge and I feel more inspired than ever. I do miss instagram and I’ll be honest, I have checked it out once or twice on my desktop computer which I justified by saying, it’s not really the same LOL. So this is just a thank you so much for all your support. I’ll be back soon and probably by the end of the week! As of now, I’m not in a rush. Instagram will always be there 🙂

PS that tree I was talking about was a cherry blossom tree in Alexandria, VA. They’re starting to pop up in different places and I’m so excited!

My camera settings for this image is F8 at 1/8th of a second at ISO 500 with my Sony A7II and 16-35mm wide angle len handheld.