leaves

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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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You may or may not have noticed that I had a busy week last week trying to capture the fall colors. Is it me or did they just pop out of nowhere. Literally one day it was all green and the next was so amazingly beautiful everywhere you went. So I’ve been busy trying to capture them all before they all fell. It must be all my cherry blossom training that I knew I needed to take advantage of the colorful trees as much as I could or you never know. Especially with Washington DC weather, you never know. Here one day and the next will be incredibly rainy and windy and they’re all gone.

So last week my friend, Birch and I met up at the Tidal Basin. It was a super cloudy morning and there was no real sunrise. We actually ended up just walking back and forth waiting for some light to appear before we felt like we were really able to capture the leaves in all its colorful glory. Also, it was a great way for us to just catch up on life 🙂

I know this image is a little different for me but I love the way it turned out. It was inspired by an image that I have seen from Brandon Woelfel where he captured something similar but during the springtime with flowers instead of leaves. Small little details like this is something I would like to work on more in the future. Often times I think big and wide but there’s something so simple about this image that I just love. Plus I love all the layers of the yellow leaves too.

My camera settings for this image is F5.6 at 1/80th sec and ISO 800 with my Sony A7II and 70-200mm 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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I’m still on the hunt for some fall colors in the Washington DC area but every time I walk out of the house it’s been a little disappointing. It’s so green still! According to this map by Vox, we should be peaking this week. I don’t see that happening anytime soon so I went to the local authority on this topic, Capital Weather Gang. Good news: CWG says that we’re still a week or two away, but I’m ready now. Hopefully that’s true and we get some nice colors soon.

So to prepare for the color change, I started brainstorming a list of places to go to photograph the fall colors in the Washington DC area and wanted to share it with you. Let me know if I’ve missed anything or if you have any other ideas. I want to keep this list growing to have it for future reference:

I actually wrote a guide to Autumn in DC a couple of years ago. Looks like this needs some major updating. I’ll be sure to do so soon!

But how great would it be if these weeping willow trees changed color? I think that would be amazingly beautiful! I captured this image last week when I was super early for sunrise. I met up with my friend, Zack and we were on the hunt to find cool places to go to capture the change. These particular trees are in Constitution Gardens and it has always been a favorite. Although the willow trees don’t change color, the trees surrounding the pond do. It’s the perfect place to go for a little bit of quiet in a busy city.

My camera settings for this image is F4 at 1/125th sec and ISO 320 with my Sony A7II and 16-35mm wide angle lens.

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I don’t even remember the last time I’ve visited the US Botanic Garden. I know it has to have been at least a couple years and the last couple times I was there, it was purely for the orchid exhibit. I did not go anywhere else or really explore the grounds.

Well last week I had a former photography student and now friend come visit from Sweden. He planned a trip to go to NYC and in the middle of his trip, decided to come down to Washington to see me and another friend he has living in this area, AndrĂ©s. It was so great to catch up with Patriq. We talked about everything from photography, American food to Ikea. PS in case you were wondering, swedish fish aren’t really from Sweden.

We met up around the US Capitol and then decided to poke our heads into the US Botanic Garden. For some reason, I had never been in this room and it seems like it’s the main room you go in as soon as you walk into the building. It’s breathtaking with all the plants and vegetation. My favorite part was the ability to walk up the stairs and get a high level view of the room. I found this spot but knew there had to be someone in it to make it complete. I just love the play in perspective with the huge leaf in the foreground and the little Patriq in the background. We were only in the garden for a little bit before we went to our next stop but I can’t wait to go back again. This place has so many great photo opportunities just waiting to happen!

The camera settings for this image is F10 at 1/80th of a second and ISO 400 with my Sony A7II and 16-35mm wide angle lens.

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Speaking of fall colors still hanging around! Heart eye emoji! (P.S. Is it weird that I say what the emoji is instead of actually using the emoji? HAHA) One of my favorite places to go to for fall colors in Washington DC area is the Tidal Basin. I don’t know if many people know it but the cherry blossom trees are gorgeous in the autumn season. We were so lucky to have gone at the right time on this particular morning. The tree colors were poppin but the sun hitting the leaves made them look like they were glowing this amazing gold color. I’d say this was probably 30-45 minutes after the sunrise.

At first I thought this season wasn’t going to be great for fall foliage. I had heard somewhere that we didn’t get as much rain as we usually do so that was going to somehow negatively affect the leaf colors. That was definietly wrong. I think all it really did was delay it for a couple of weeks because they are out in full force right now. You can even see the trees on the opposite side of the Tidal Basin and so many of them were this beautiful red color. We didn’t walk that way but I’m sure they’re just as beautiful as the yellow tree I was standing under. So if you’re in the DC area, I’d highly suggest checking them out soon before they all go away.

Shout out to Brandon, his cousin, and Jarrett for the early sunrise shoot. It was a fun morning walking around the National Mall with you guys! A morning filled with photos, camera talk and colorful leaves- what could be better?

My camera settings for this image is F/11 at 1/320th of a second and ISO 200 with my Sony A7II and 16-35mm lens.