leading lines

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If I could go back anywhere in the US from our epic cross country road trip last year, it would have to be White Sands National Monument. Hands down, no questions asked. I need to spend more time in this place. We only had one night here. So we were able to shoot sunset and early morning. Park authorites were pretty strict about making sure that everyone left right as the sun was setting so I didn’t get to spend as much time as I would have liked here. Plus they didn’t open at sunrise and I had to wait later in the day to get back in the next day. I didn’t go on any of the hikes or trails. We basically just parked our car, walked up to the highest sand dune and took a few pictures and sledded down the sand dunes. That was so much fun all on its on.

What first attracted me to visiting this place were all the beautiful lines that the wind created in the sand dunes. I thought they were so interesting and would be great for leading lines. But when I arrived, I quickly found out that you probably have to walk more than just the sand dune that was in front of your parking spot because those lines are probably covered by other people’s foot prints. LOL. To be honest, I photoshopped some of the footprints that are in this image because there are just sooo many of them. But the best part about this park is that shoes are pretty pointless. Unless you are wearing sneakers or something and plan on doing some serious hiking, it’s totally normal to be walking around barefoot. I love it!

My camera settings for this image is 1/40th of a second at F7.1 and ISO 160 with my Sony A7II and 28-70mm lens.

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This was taken early morning on the Saturday of Thanksgiving weekend. That’s a lot of cars, huh? I was pretty surprised by how many people were out so early in the morning, especially on a holiday weekend. They must have known it was going to be a good sunrise too 🙂 Why else would people wake up if they weren’t taking pictures, right?

Not sure what actually drew me to taking this image but I think it turned out pretty awesome. I love how the street lights are so evenly spaced with the Washington Monument. I also think it is really cool to see the car light trails on either side of the image and the glow of the lights on the railings. Is it crazy to say with so much movement going on in this image that it actually gives me some peace when I’m looking at it? I find the peace when I’m looking at the reflection of the monument in the water and the nearly clear sky. I love the orange glow that’s going on the right side of the image and I wonder if the cars passing by even notice it. I think it’s easy for people who live in this area to be sort of dismiss these views but I think they are spectacular. I love photographing this city!

My camera settings for this image is F/9 at 2.5 seconds and ISO 200 with my Sony A7II and 16-35mm lens on my gitzo tripod.

As a side note, it is completely safe to capture this image. But I find it weird that I can feel the cars passing by as I’m standing on Kutz Memorial Bridge and that little bit of rumbling doesn’t effect the focus or sharpness of the image. Does anyone know why that’s the case?

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You wouldn’t be able to tell from this image, but there were tons of people out. All these school field trips, buses of tourists, and just people who wanted to see the sights at the Tidal Basin. So it was difficult for me to find my own little corner to shoot, but I did it! The secret is to figure out where all these people were coming in and exiting from. Its usually the same area, so I just walked on the opposite side of the memorial and BOOM. Clicky-click city.

This was during sunset but the weather had been calling for on and off showers all day. Music to my ears! So I went out, not really expecting much but the clouds were so dramatic that it was so easy and fun to shoot. I love how the steps of the Jefferson Memorial create a leading line to the Washington Monument. Also the tree on the right creates the perfect compliment for framing to the columns. But my absolute favorite part of the image is the distorted reflection of the Monument on the steps. So cool and interesting to look at. Who knew the marble was THAT reflective.

My camera settings on this image were f/5.6 at 10 seconds. I used my ND filter to slow down the exposure which is really showcased in the movement of the clouds. Good thing it didn’t rain for the rest of the night. I was having a ball with this sky. Also shooting at a long exposure can really blur out some of the people in the image. I think I’ll try for a slightly shorter exposure next time and experiment with the people. Kinda similar to this image I took in New York City at Grand Central Terminal a couple of weeks ago. Yea… that might be kind of interesting.

 

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Happy Monday! Hope you had a great weekend. So glad it finally warmed up in the DC area so the cherry blossoms could really bloom. So guess I did over the weekend? I’ve been out shooting the blossoms 🙂 But this one was actually taken on Friday morning just after sunrise and just before it started to rain. The morning started off really cold. So cold that when I checked the weather app on my phone and it said “feels like 22 degrees”. *shaking my head* I can still feel the chill in my bones. My first reaction was to just stay in my warm, cozy bed, but I knew I’d regret it. I met up with my friend, Larry and had a great morning just walking around, talking and taking pictures of the flowers. They were looking a lot better than previous days so I’m glad I got my butt outta bed.

My camera settings for this image was F13 1/80th of a second ISO 250 with my 28-70mm. I was trying to get as much as I could in focus but the cherry blossoms were so close to me and the Jefferson Memorial was so far that it was difficult to get both. So I chose the cherry blossoms to be really sharp. When shooting the cherry blossoms, I try to use them to frame the memorials or as leading lines to them.

I hope you’re not getting bored of these. My blog posts have been pretty cherry blossom heavy lately. But tis the season 🙂 They’ll get back to a normal travel/DC images soon. Maybe in like a week-ish or so. But not right now, I’ve got cherry blossoms fever. Even my dad has been asking me to text him cherry blossom pics. Obviously, he doesn’t read my blog or follow me on my social media. *shaking my head again*