long exposure

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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.

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When we booked our hotel I knew the rooftop views were going to be epic, but I didn’t know how good they would be. Here was the view when you walked straight out onto the patio. As soon as we walked out there, my jaw dropped. I loved being able to see so much for the skyline but then I turned to the side and saw this. So cool right? A birds eye view of the Manhattan bridge.

After our first trip to the rooftop, Andrew and I decided to just walk around the city and get some food to eat and run a few errands. We found ourselves all the way up midtown and was shocked by how many people we saw. Somehow we ended up really close to Rockefeller center and literally stood in the same spot for like 10 minutes because there were just so many people. There was no flow of traffic and we were just stuck. Even with police there, no one was moving. It was kind of insane but the best part was this guy in front of me who screamed “ok, who just slapped my ass”. LOL.

Needless to say once we got back to the hotel, we were tired. But I wanted to go back up to the rooftop one more time. I really didn’t want to. The bed was calling my name, but I knew that it was the only opportunity I was going to get.

It was a little awkward walking back to the rooftop. By that time, it was basically a club with everyone all dressed up. I was still in my sneakers and winter coat. Oh well. Anything for the shot, right?

My camera settings for this image is F6.3 at 0.8 sec at ISO 1250 with my Sony A7II and 16-35mm wide angle.

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Always on the hunt for new compositions around the National Mall, I found this one a while ago. However it was one of those things where I couldn’t get it right and wanted to try again until I came out with something I was happy with. Last week I was a bit early for sunrise so I thought I would take my time walking around Kutz bridge. It was about 6a (sunrise is close to 7:30a now!) so there were plenty of people driving around. I figured this was the perfect opportunity to try some cool long exposures.

I started off on top of the grail. You can’t tell but you can get some pretty cool reflections off of it from the tail lights as the cars drive past. The reflections were cool but I still wasn’t happy with the composition. That image will probably be one of those that I go back to and try again. So I decided to get down a little lower and actually put my camera on the ground to capture the light trails. This turned out so much better. I love how the grail is dividing the image in to two parts but the way that the clouds have formed and the angle of the car lights make it all look like everything is pointing to the center of the image. It is such a yin yang type photo with the dark shadows on the left and bright light from the street lamp on the right.

One of my favorite things about the Sony cameras is that you can tilt up your LCD screen so it’s much easier to see what your camera is seeing without having to bend all the way over.

My camera settings for this image is F8 at 6 seconds at ISO 320 with my Sony A7II and 16-35mm wide angle lens.

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Now that it’s almost August, I thought it would be a good time to share another firework image. HAHA.

But seriously, I think this year’s firework images have been my favorite so far. I love the way that they turned out. Not only was the weather perfect, but the show itself was amazing. This image kinda reminds me of this one that I posted earlier in the month, except this one was a little bit later in the night. Since so many fireworks had been shot off there was much more smoke but I can’t stop looking at the details in the lights. Just looking at it, I can hear the crackling noise that the fireworks make.

To be honest, I was a little nervous about shooting with my 70-200mm that night. I wasn’t sure if it was going to be the right lens or if the wide angle would be best. But with the 70-200mm I was able to capture so much more details then I had expected. It brought so many unexpected point of views that it is honest my new favorite lens. I’m having so much fun with it.

As far as my next lens. I’m thinking a prime lens. I haven’t really played with one before but I love how fast they are. I’m totally in the zone for experimentation and trying new things so I think a prime lens may be the next move. If you have a Sony prime lens, let me know your favorite one and why. I’m open to suggestions.

Oh and you may have noticed that I’ve been slowly adding to my gear collection. Let me know if you’d be interested in seeing an updated gear video and I can get that to you soon-ish.

My camera settings for this image is F5.6 at 1/10th of a second at ISO 160 with my Sony A7II and 70-200mm lens.

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Now that our Caribbean vacation is just a few days away, I thought it’d be appropriate to post about Iceland. LOL. I don’t know what it is about Iceland that makes me want to keep going back. But I’m pretty sure I’m not the only one who feels this way. Everyone who I know who’s been there has been more than once. I’ve been twice but I would like to go back asap.

  1. because I still haven’t seen a great display of northern lights
  2. because I still haven’t gone to the northern part of the island
  3. Last time I was there, we tried to go into an ice cave but it got cancelled because of rain and I would LOVEEEEE to photograph one.
  4. because every single corner of the island is amazing and so photogenic
  5. I had the best smoked salmon of my life on my last trip and can’t wait to eat even more

The list goes on and on. Plus I didn’t even mention the horses! And you know me and fluffy cute animals. So hopefully I can make that happen asap. Or at least when I return from the beach 🙂

But this image was from my last trip to Iceland in the beginning of last year. I remember we weren’t planning on stopping here but ended up getting out of the car because it was so beautiful. It was pretty cool too because we were the only ones on this side of the beach. Everyone else was on the other side of the cliffs. I brought my tripod out with me so that I could get those silky smooth water with my neutral density filter. I loved the way it turned. This image was originally a horizontal image that I cropped to vertical. I think it’s much more dynamic this way.

My camera settings for this image is at F6.3 at 2 seconds and ISO 80 with my Sony A7II and 16-35mm wide angle lens.