landscape

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I didn’t exactly believe this the first time I saw it, but Capital Weather Gang was right. It’s look like it’s going to be a snowier winter than normal. Well, at least that what it seemed like last week because we got snow. In November.

I woke up for sunrise Thursday morning and looked out the window and barely saw anything. So I went back to bed thinking that we probably got as much as we were going to because we never get snow in November. If anything, it usually starts in January but holy cow. I fell asleep for about another hour and when I woke up the sidewalk, grass, roads, everything was covered. I was so excited.

I love snow.

So I got up, ate breakfast, walked Frankie and was ready to head out the door. I decided to go to the tidal basin because I love photographing the snow with white memorials. I love the monochromatic look. Even when it’s full on color, it still looks black and white 🙂 But since it was fall and the leaves were changing, I thought it would be interesting to photograph the contrast.

The image above was taken from across the street at the George Mason Memorial. I love it because it still had some flowers and color. It was really the look I was going for to photograph the snow with fall colors.

This was taken on my way towards the Jefferson Memorial. I love how delicate the snow looks on the bushes. Oh, have I mentioned that I love snow on greenery too? Totally reminds me of Christmas.

Thomas Jefferson and I both love a good reflection.

On my way back to the car I decided to check out the cherry blossom trees. Most of the leaves are gone and I can’t imagine the snow making it that much better.

So not to jinx anything, but crossing my fingers for more snow this year!

 

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Now on to a totally different fall foliage vibe is this image I captured on Halloween morning. My friend, Larry and I met up and made our way to Great Falls Park. PRAISE HANDS EMOJI that the gate was open and we were able to get in around sunrise time. But there was not much of a sunrise. It was a really foggy morning at the park which was kind of appropriate considering the day. The crazy part was that it was so foggy by the water but when you looked to the other side of the park it was blue skies.

Since it was so foggy, Larry and I ended up walking to the last overlook first and decided to work our way back to the front as the morning went on. This image was taken as we were leaving that last overlook and saw two deers just hanging out beside the start of the River Trail. We tried our best to be as stealth as possible but I think it was our camera shutters that gave us away to the deer. That or it could have been me trying to push the limits and move closer and closer to the deer. Either way, the deer were not as friendly as we would have liked. So here’s a shot of one of the deer running away from me. Deer butt is better than no deer, am I right? LOL

My favorite part about this image is the framing. I love how the leaves on the tree are almost about to touch the deer in the background. Even that little branch that’s hanging down directly in the middle of the two tree trunks is a happy accident that I did not even notice until I brought this image up on the computer.

Speaking of happy accidents, I was Bob Ross for Halloween. LOL. But I don’t know how great it was because I scared my 3 year old nephew as soon as he saw me. I think it may have been the facial hair. He was so hesitant to come near at any point of the night. When I asked him to share candy with me, he was more than willing to but basically just threw it at me from a safe distance. HAHA. What did you dress up as?

My camera settings for this image is F4 at 1/8th sec and ISO 800 with my Sony A7II and 70-200mm ultra zoom lens.

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The best part about fall colors is that they are everywhere. You don’t really have to go far to enjoy them. Often times taking pictures around your neighborhood is just as good as going to Shenandoah National Park or anything like that. For example, Andrew and I spent some time in Manassas, VA over the weekend. Obviously Frankie had to come with us so we had a little mini photoshoot in the woods.

Now when most people think Manassas, they naturally think of the battlefields. But this was across the street from there. It was a great place to go with a whole bunch of trees. Plus Frankie is so photogenic, how could you go wrong 😉 In order to capture this, I had to take the stick he was chewing on out of his mouth and dangled it in front of my camera for him to look like he was looking at it. I was shooting on continuous and sort of hoped for the best. So when I first saw this image on my computer, I couldn’t help but smile.

Immediately all the captions started running through my head. For example…

  • ‘When they ask you if you want fries with that’
  • ‘When someone brings pizza to the party’
  • ‘When you’re sharing an ice cream cone and can’t wait for your next turn’

You get the idea. LOL.

Besides my furry model, I really enjoy looking at the shadows of this image. It was taken around noon so the shadows were extra long as the sun was right above us. I purposely had Frankie stand in the middle of two trees to help frame him and to make the image just a little more interesting to look at.

My camera settings for this image is F5.0 at 1/640th sec and ISO 500 with my Sony A7II and 16-35mm wide angle lens.

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Woke up at 4:30a yesterday to go light chasing!

My friend, Larry and I made our way to the Thornton Gap Entrance at Shenandoah National Park and it was fantastic. So many times I’ve been to Shenandoah National Park and run into fog like this and this. Yesterday was the opposite of that. It was cloudy but clear enough to see some fantastic colors. I haven’t had a chance to go through all my images, but I really liked this one. I think it really captures the mood plus I can’t stop looking at the light that is hitting this man’s yellow jacket. By the way, that’s not Larry. It was just another photographer enjoying the sunrise with us.

As far as a foliage report, I think this weekend would be a great time to go. This overlook, which is very close to the entrance, had some beautiful, colorful trees. As we were driving up the mountain though, we noticed that a lot of trees had already become bare with yellow leaves on the ground. So if you haven’t checked out much fall color, I’d recommend going to Shenandoah National Park soon. I’m not sure about the Front Royal entrance but if I had to guess, I’d guess it would probably be better to go sooner than later.

Man it’s like the fall colors came so quickly and now we’re already talking about them leaving? It’s like cherry blossom season in the fall. But speaking of cherry blossoms, I heard the Tidal Basin is looking real nice too. So I have a busy weekend planned of shooting.

Also Larry was kind enough to let me borrow his Sony A7III and I may be in love. My camera settings for this image is F9 at 1/80th sec at ISO 800 with Larry’s A7III and my 70-200mm handheld.

 

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As you can tell by now, it’s really rainy in Norway or at least while we were visiting. Way more than I had expected. But in some ways it was a good thing and it definietly did not prevent us from doing anything we would have normally done. I think the clouds and rain brought a certain moodiness to all these images and I’m really liking it. For example, this image that I captured at “sunset” in Sognefjord in FlĂĽm, Norway.

Sognefjord was our first fjord experience while in Norway and I was super pumped to drive up to Stegastein to see it. Stegastein, is this beautiful outlook area where I expected to see tons of people. You drive up this really windy road with the famous Norwegian hairpin turns and at every corner was a beautiful viewpoint. To my huge surprise when we finally reached the top, Andrew and I were the only ones there! No bus full of people or anything. Literally the only car in the entire parking lot. I think all the rain, fog and drizzle chased everyone out. Honestly, there was a moment there where I thought we were in the wrong place because there was no one there. The other people must have found the real Stegastein or something better? Because how could no one be here? *Confused face emoji*

Anyways, it was beautiful and larger than life. It was really cool to see this up high perspective because being down by the water you would have never imagined there were so many layers to it. It may be difficult to see but there’s actually several waterfalls in this image too. I think there’s at least 4 captured. Can you see them?

My camera settings for this image is F5.6 1/320 sec at ISO 800 with my Sony A7II and 16-35mm wide angle lens.

 

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One of the first things we did when we arrived in Norway was head over to the Fløibanen funicular in Bergen. Luckily our hotel was really close by and it was only a 10 minute walk to the station. I was happy to see that we were able to purchase either one way tickets or round trip tickets. Andrew and I decided to do the one way because neither one of us wanted to hike up the mountain but we thought it would be cool to see the views walking down.

Well, it was stunning to stay the least. It was raining on our way up which wasn’t too bad since we were covered by the tram but once we arrived to the top of Mt Fløyen I didn’t even notice the rain anymore. We spent some time walking around the 180 degree semi circle which provided amazing views of Bergen and the surrounding area.

While we were walking down the mountain, the rain was off and on but mostly on. We stood under some trees hoping that the rain would pass quickly but it didn’t. So we just kept it moving. But during the times when the rain was off, the sunlight would come through the clouds and it would create this gorgeous light on the buildings below us. It was like the whole world was glowing. So if you’re ever in Bergen, I’d highly recommend the Fløibanen funicular. It’s a great ride up and an easy walk down. I just hope it won’t be raining like it was when we went.

Quick tip: While walking down Mt Fløyen, I noticed that any scenic view had a bench right by it. It’s like a little sign saying sit down, relax and enjoy the scenery. But it wasn’t just in Bergen that they had that. It was all over Norway. So if you ever had a doubt you would see something nice, look for a bench!

My camera settings for this image is F5.0 at 1/2000 ISO 500 with my Sony A7II and 70-200mm zoom lens.