long exposure

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Happy Friday!

These images were taken on July 3rd. My friend, Laily invited me to her neighborhood firework show and it was a great one. Since it wasn’t the National Mall, I decided I was going to concentrate on a few different things. 1. on just the fireworks, 2. the crowds of people, 3. different exposure techniques. In the end, it was the images of just the fireworks that I liked the most. Not bad for a neighborhood show!

Unfortunately, I did not take pictures on the 4th. It had been raining all evening and to be honest, it just scared me away. I had experience of rain on the fourth and the fireworks had been less than spectacular so I decided to just sit it out. It was a last minute decision I honestly kinda regret. It looked like the beginning of the firework display was awesome but then fizzled into just colorful smoke by the end. Either way, there’s always next year 🙂

And now that I have a better idea of where the fireworks are shooting from, I think I’ll be more prepared for next time!

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Last week I got invited to go to Altaire’s rooftop. If you don’t know Altaire, it is a luxury apartment complex right off 395 in Crystal City.

It’s been a while since I’ve been to Crystal City in Arlington, Virginia but I’ve always known it for the Pentagon and a few good restaurants. It has actually come up in conversation recently because Amazon has decided to build an office there. But other than that, I’ve never really spent that much time there.

So I was excited to get the invite. I was wondering what kind of views I could get from Crystal City since I’ve never actually photographed anything there. HOLY COW! My jaw dropped. The views are stunning. I’m pretty sure I’ll be sharing images from here for a while because I was literally like a kid in a candy store just snapping away. I can’t even imagine what it would be like to live in one of these apartments and waking up with a view like this. I don’t think I would ever leave my house. Either that or set up a tripod on my balcony and just time lapse it all day. LOL.

This image was taken just after sunset. I was waiting for the sun to go down so that I could get these car trails along the highway. I think it’s so interesting to look at all the different layers of this image and try to figure out where everything is located. For example, I think those purple lights in front of the US Capitol building is the Wharf, right?

Thanks again to the good people at Altaire for having Larry and I there. I had a B-L-A-S-T!

My camera settings for this image is F4 at 0.8 seconds and ISO 800 with my Sony A7II and 70-200mm zoom lens.

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Capturing this image totally reminded me of photographing Great Falls Park. It’s been a long time since I’ve been to a body of water with such fast rapids storming down. It made me miss how peaceful it is just sitting at the ledge and watching birds come and go. *As long as they don’t come anywhere near me*

This image was taken at the Pipeline Trail in Richmond, Virginia. At first when my friend, Albert mentioned that he wanted to go there for sunrise, I had no idea why the trail was called what it was. I figured it was because it was a really narrow trail or something, but no. You are literally walking on top of a pipeline. It was so interesting and something I’ve never done before. But there are railings and a small platform on top to make things safe. At times when we wanted to pass each other, we had to squeeze into the railings to let the other person go by. It was fun!

So this image was captured while sitting along the edge of the pipeline. I was using the railings as a way to keep my camera sturdy for the long exposure. They key things that I wanted was for the bird to be in the light, for him to turn to the side so you can see his body shape and for the bird to keep still for at least a second so I could capture a clear shot of him. Probably out of 50 pics I took from different angles, this one fit my qualifications the best. For some reason to photograph the bird to stay still for more than a second was the hardest part.

My camera settings for this image is F22 at 1/6th sec and ISO 50 with my Sony A7II and 70-200mm zoom lens.

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When I was looking up different places to take pictures of Chicago at night, the Chicago Theatre came up in so many of my search results. I think if you’re visiting Chicago it’s a must see. But most of the other images I have seen were of cars driving past and getting the light trails from that. I wanted to try something a little different. I saw some other images where you could get an elevated view point, so I thought I would combine the two and hope for something cool.

This was taken after dinner and dessert. We walked over to the sign and I noticed how many people were walking by taking selfies so I thought it would be interesting to try to get a long exposure of that. It also helped that the Chick-fil-a was right there so I was even able to capture people walking out of the fast food restaurant. I think it turned out a little creepy but an interesting take on the landmark.

So if you’re interested in joining me in Chicago in July, we’re actually running a sale on the workshop. Click here for the details and looking forward to seeing you there 🙂 I heard it can get real hot in the summertime which I can’t even imagine at all. It just snowed there again over the weekend!

PS Can I be honest. One of the highlights of my day is when I look at my blog and see people have ‘hearted’ a blog post even if I haven’t shared it on social media. It honestly makes me smile knowing that you just come to my blog just to see it. I can’t tell who does it but I really, really appreciate it! Thank you!

My camera settings for this image is F20 at 1.6 sec and ISO 200 with my Sony A7II and 16-35mm wide angle lens.

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Home from Chicago and it was a fantastic trip. At one point on Saturday night while we were walking back to our hotel for the night, Andrew turned to me and said “How come all of your vacations involve a lot of walking?” LOL I’m pretty sure he was joking but not really. Because it’s true. I think when you walk around a city, you just get to know it better and there’s so much more you get to see when you’re going a little bit slower. I like it better than just driving everywhere or taking public transportation.

But my legs, feet and back are definietly feeling it right now.

This image was taken from a L train station. The light blue building in the center is the Trump International Hotel and Tower and found this to be a cool point of view with buildings framing it. Below me were some train tracks that I was taking pictures of but in between trains coming and going, I was messing around with long exposure on the buildings. I love the way it turned out and I think this is a very accurate depiction of what it feels like after exploring the city for 48 hours. I didn’t think much of it while I was taking the picture but thought it turned out really cool in the end.

Overall, I had a great weekend. I loved walking up and down the riverwalk and finding different angles to photograph the high rise buildings. I also really enjoyed eating deep dish pizza and Italian beef sandwiches. So you can say I’m a big fan of Chicago’s scenery and food 🙂

My camera settings for this image is F5.6 at .4 seconds and ISO 3200 with my Sony A7II and 70-200mm zoom lens and my 10 stop neutral density filter.

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I know I’ve mentioned it before, but I’m also a fan of when the cherry blossoms start falling. I think it adds a lot of interest when there is pink the trees but also pink in the grass.

I captured this when the petals first started falling. It was the first day of rain after a week of blue skies and I wasn’t mad about it. It ended up being a peaceful day at the Tidal Basin that allowed me to get a little creative with the petals. Luckily, there weren’t as many people out taking pictures so I had time to try different things without worrying about being in other people’s way. Trust me when I say that the Tidal Basin can get PACKED. Like tripod legs within tripod legs. It’s bananas. So a day without that many people is so freeing.

This image was almost by accident. I wanted to photograph the petals in the water, but I accidentally left my camera settings as the same as I was shooting when I was photographing the trees. Obviously, pointing up towards the sky allowed a lot more light coming in than pointing down into the water. So when I expected this image to turn out crisp and clear, it turned out a little blurry. But in such an interesting way that I tried a couple of different compositions until I came out with this one. The water was particularly choppy because of the rain so each time I clicked, I came out with something completely different. It was fun turning my camera in different angles to try something new. In the end, it’s the circular motion of these petals that really makes the image more interesting to me.

My camera settings for this image is F11 at 1/8th sec and ISO 2000 with my Sony A7II and 70-200mm zoom.