lake

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So this was a fail. But I thought it would be a good idea to share it with you.

It did not occur to me that while we were out camping, we would see stars. I don’t know why. It’s just something that completely slipped my mind. I think I was too worried about the actual camping part to even consider anything else.

So after the sunset on our first day in the woods, I was kicking myself for not bringing my 14mm lens. It’s so much faster and I specifically bought it to take more night images like this. *Facepalm x2* So I tried to do best with what I had.

My camera settings for this image is F4.0 at 13 seconds and ISO 5000 with my Sony A7II and 16-35mm. I did not have a tripod with me so I did my best by balancing the camera on this big log we were sitting on. I think the colors are really cool in the image. I just wish it were sharper and I know I could have done that with my 14mm.

Oh well. Next time!

Which will be soon because Andrew and I will be traveling to Norway next week! I can’t wait. Neither one of us have been there before and I’m really looking forward to capturing the fjords, waterfalls and the night sky! Don’t worry though, my 14mm is the first lens I’ll be packing in my camera bag. We’ve booked places to stay that right along the water and am really looking forward to just checking out the scenery. I’ve been on pinterest like a madwoman planning out this trip and reading other people’s experiences. I couldn’t sleep the other night because I was just so excited. So if you’ve been to Norway, please let me know. I’d love for any tips or advice.

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This image was taken about 30 minutes after I captured this one. The sun came out and was hitting the trees very nicely. By this point, Andrew and I had driven around Emerald Bay so that we were facing west and the sun was just over my right shoulder.

As I mentioned in my last blog post, Andrew and I woke up really early to capture this image. 4 am west coast time so about 7am east coast time which isn’t so bad if you put it in terms of time zones, however by this point we were already adjusted to the west coast time. When I told my family the night before what time Andrew and I were planning on waking up and to go take pictures, they seemed pretty shocked. To be honest, people in general are shocked when I tell them what time I wake up to go take pictures. If you had told college-age me that I would be waking up that early, I’d be shocked too. But at this point I’m used to it. And when we’re home, Andrew usually wakes up early too. I don’t make him wake up early with me when were traveling but he’s just a good supportive husband who wants to make sure I’ll be ok so he’ll come with me too <3

But it’s funny because soon after we came home from this trip, Andrew and I went to a conference to listen to Robert Herjavec (among other people) speak. He talked about how he’s an early riser just so he can get things done before he has to go to work. Everyone thought he was crazy too. But the funny part of it was when he said people would ask him, “but aren’t you tired?” And then Robert said, “of course I’m tired! But I gotta get it done!” LOL so true Robert, so true!

If you ever get the opportunity to see Robert speak, I’d highly recommend it. He was funny, entertaining and inspiring.

My camera settings for this image is F7.1 at 1/100th of a second at ISO 400 with my Sony A7II and 70-200mm zoom lens.

 

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Just a little break from the California images to wish you a Happy Labor Day weekend! I can’t believe it’s already here. It’s one of the last weekends this year to enjoy the warm temps and jump in the water. I probably won’t be doing that though. I am looking forward to attending my friend’s wedding. It’s my college roommate’s little brother’s wedding and I can’t believe he’s actually getting married. CRAZY how time flies. If you asked me, I still think he’s 15 years old begging us for rides to his friend’s house. It’s going to be a shock to see him standing in front of everyone with a suit on.

This image was taken earlier in the summer at Lake Anna in Louisa, Virginia. A storm was approaching but that didn’t stop anyone from getting into the water. This is my friend, Cheryl. We actually went to high school together but didn’t know each other at the time. It just so happens that many years later we ended up having friends that were friends with each other and so we reconnected. It was one of those moments when I first saw her I knew her face looked familiar but wasn’t sure how I knew her. LOL But I’m glad to know her now 🙂 She’s awesome, as you can see.

In order to capture this I sat at the very edge of the boat. My camera was right above the water and would get splashed here and there but never too wet. I just love the perspective and all the detail you see in the water. Maybe this is was part of the reason why I had to get my camera serviced… HAHAA. It was bound to happen. It just means I use my camera ALLLLL the time.

Happy weekend everyone!

My camera settings for this image is F5.0 at 1/640th of a second at ISO 250 with my Sony A7II and 28-70mm lens.

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We spent 4 nights in Lake Tahoe, 2 nights were spent camping while the other 2 were in my sister-in-law’s sister’s cabin.  It was my first time going as an adult. I had been before when I was much younger. I don’t remember much about it except we went for a ski trip. To be honest I just remember sitting on bus coming home from skiing and being super hot in my snowsuit. That was pretty much it. So it was basically my first time visiting. And it was Andrew’s very first time visiting too!

Driving around the lake we were both so surprised how built on the area is. I guess I’m just used to Lake Anna where there’s not much around and you have to drive like 30 minutes to the nearest grocery store. As opposed to Lake Tahoe where there’s a Taco Bell right across the street!

On our last day in Tahoe, Andrew and I woke up around 4am to drive from North to South Tahoe. I wanted to catch the sunrise from Emerald Bay and I was really hoping the water was going to be that aqua blue that you see in the pictures on pinterest. Unfortunately I think it only turns that color in the afternoon time. Something about how the sun hits the water or something like that. Oh well, I still love how this turned out. Funny enough, everyday except the first day that we were in Tahoe was a cloudless sky. In the end, I think it worked for this image because it’s all about the simplicity and the contrasting colors. I also love the sailboats that are docked by the shore. So cute!

My camera settings for this image is F4 at 1/1000th of a second ISO 400 with my Sony A7II and 70-200mm zoom lens.

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Last weekend was another adventure weekend. This time was at Lake Anna, Virginia. For the past 3 years, my family has rented a lake house and we would have tons of fun in the water. This past weekend was my first attempt at wake surfing and I had a blast! Mostly because I shocked myself and got up on my very first try. I know I had to have been standing for at least a minute. It was funny because I had spent so much time worrying about how I would get up that once I was up I had no idea what to do next. There is a video of it, but in true Andrew fashion, there’s a finger in the corner of the video!!! I mean, how does that even happen? I swear he must do it on purpose… Anyways I was able to go a few more times and I got better and better at it. Luckily there are no fingers in those videos.

This image is of my friend, Nando. He’s way better at wake surfing, snowboarding and all those kind of things than I am. It was fun to photograph this though. I never thought about the cool angles you could get from the back of the boat. It makes me want to go back again just so I can photograph more surf. This image was taken about 10 minutes before it started thunder storming. Man I wish that rain held off because it rained for the rest of our trip. I would have loved to fly the drone during these wake surfing sessions. I was able to get a little bit of fly time from land, but the boat would have been awesome. Next time, Lake Anna!

My camera settings for this image is F5.0 at 1/320th of a second at ISO 250 with my Sony A7II and 28-70mm lens.

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One of my favorite places to go to shoot in Northern Virginia is Meadowlark Botanical Gardens. I actually learned about it through Andrew. The first time we went here was on one our first dates. I still remember thinking it was weird that he took me here because he gets bad allergies in the spring time but he knew it was a place that I’d enjoy so I really appreciated that about him. Some of my favorite cherry blossom images that I’ve ever taken were taken from here. For example this one and this one. I just love the variety of flowers that you can see here.

So when I got the opportunity to pick a workshop location for a recent one-on-one teach that I did, Meadowlark was the first place that popped in my head. It is beautiful but still quiet enough where we’d be able to walk and talk about cameras and settings without disturbing many other people. The National Mall is a good place too, but it can get pretty crowded and parking isn’t always the best situation. So a great alternative is Meadowlark.

This image was taken from across the lake facing the Korean Bell Garden. I love how the branches create a cool frame around the pagoda. If I didn’t know any better than I would have assumed this was taken somewhere in Asia.

Just in case you’re in the area, the gates will open at 6a on Saturday May, 19th when they typically open at 10a. I bet this would look really nice in the early morning light. And if you’re interested in my workshops, click here for more information. They’re one-on-one so I can cater the information based on whatever you’d like to learn. Plus you don’t have to live in the DC metro area, we could go over everything through google hangouts or skype 🙂

My camera settings for this image is F5.6 at 1/1250th of a second at ISO 200 with my Sony A7II and 28-70mm handheld.