magnolias

All photos available for print and licensing >

A little while ago I met up with my friend, Birch to check out the christmas wreaths at Union Station for sunrise. Although this isn’t the best sunrise spot, I thought it would be interesting to see all the holiday decorations and I love just visiting Union Station. Maybe because it’s so transit, the same reasons why I love airports so much. There’s just so much hustle and bustle going on that there’s never really a dull moment. Plus I love the Christmas wreaths they hang outside the station. With so much going on, people everywhere, cars honking horns,  the wreaths and their lights always bring a smile to my face.

So after walking around the inside and outside of the station, Birch and I decided to walk along side of the building to see if we could find anything interesting going on. I’ve always loved how all the red taxis line up on the side of the train station just waiting for passengers. I knew there had to be something interesting here, I just had to wait for it. Then this lady walked passed with her red hat. It was perfect. It even goes with the H&M sign on the side of the building. I figured this in itself was festive with the lights and red colors.

But of course, no visit is complete to Union Station now that Magnolia Bakery is open. I had to stop by and get some banana pudding before we left. If you haven’t already, you gotta try it. Andrew and I used to go all the time when we’re in New York, but now that it’s in Washington, we can enjoy it whenever 🙂

My camera settings for this image is F4 at 1/125th sec and ISO 500 with my Sony A7II and 70-200mm zoom lens.

 

All photos available for print and licensing >

I spent yesterday afternoon in Dumbarton Oaks photographing the wisteria there. Can I tell you that Wisteria Hysteria is a real thing? They are so beautiful in real life. I must have taken a million pics. Not really but I can not wait to look through those images. It was actually my second time there this season and I can’t get enough of that place. Ever since I visited last year with Andrew, I made a mental note that I had go in the spring. I bet fall is nice there too. Let me know if you’ve ever been in the autumn time. I wonder if there are a lot of colorful trees.

Well anyways, this image was from my first trip this season. I think my favorite part of the gardens at that time were these magnolias. They were so big and hardy (is that the right word to describe them?) that I don’t think I could hold one in one hand alone. *cat heart eye emoji* Obviously I didn’t want to touch them but I spent a significant amount of time staring up and circling these trees with my camera until I found the perfect sun flare. Love you, spring!

PS Happy Cinco de Mayo mañana. I usually don’t celebrate holidays unless it’s Thanksgiving or Mothers day or something like that, but I’ll be celebrating tomorrow. I had the best week ever! Thank you all so much for the positive feedback to Snap DC. I could not be more excited about it and I am even more excited for you to hold it in your hands! Thank you, Thank you, Thank you!!! And yes, celebrations always include pizza 🙂

My camera settings for this image is F22 at 1/25th of a second at ISO 200 with my Sony A7II and 16-35 mm wide angle lens.

All photos available for print and licensing >

A little break from all the pink spring flowers for some yellow ones. I captured this image behind the George Mason Memorial. It’s a little hidden gem that’s so close to the Tidal Basin but I don’t know how many people actually know about it. It’s kind of an empty space and I believe there’s still construction going on in the very center of the memorial. Regardless, it’s a great way to escape the crowds of the Tidal Basin but still capture some beautiful flowers.

What originally caught my attention about this space were all the beautiful magnolia trees. You can see them sort of in the center layer at the edges of this image. But once I actually started composing, I liked the yellow flowers more. They were just so beautiful and whimsical. I love how there are even more yellow flowers in the center layer, in between the magnolia trees.

The whole time I was editing this image, I was thinking of my mom. Her favorite color is yellow and she loves gardening. She doesn’t grow flowers or anything but she has a full fledge garden in her backyard of all kinds of fruits and vegetables for the spring/summer. In fact, she’s had a garden in every house that we’ve lived in and I have so many memories with her in those gardens. Whether it’s picking the fruit and vegetables that I wanted to eat or her making me pull weeds and laying out the soil because I was eating her fruits and vegetables and I had to contribute in some way. We’ve spent a lot of time outdoors together and that may be one of the reasons why I love being outside so much. Interesting that I never put those two things together before…

My camera settings for this image is F8 at 1/250th of a second at ISO 200 with my Sony A7II and 28-70mm lens.

All photos available for print and licensing >

I’m happy to report that the Magnolia trees have been saved! The snow that we had last week didn’t seem to phase them much. I captured this image Friday morning behind the Smithsonian Castle at the Enid A Haupt Garden. I arrived a little bit after sunrise so I could get that beautiful early morning glow happening on the flowers. It was like walking in paradise. The birds were chirping, the wind was soft but nothing beats that early morning light.

In order to capture this image, I had to be patient. For some reason there were not a lot of people walking by or in the gardens. I stood there for a good 10 minutes before I even saw anyone else but I already had this vision in my head so I had to wait. There I was, standing in the trees looking like a flower monkey. LOL. Standing with my camera close to my face. I left my ear phones at home so I was blasting music by Drake from my phone in my pocket. This guy must have liked Drake too because he crept up behind me and scared the living sh*t out of me. I turned around and gave him a half smile and half ‘what are you doing?’ face. He just smiled back and went on his way shooting.

Obviously I had to stare him down for a little bit. LOL. And then I saw him walking to the the spot that I was waiting for someone to walk past. So I took advantage of the opportunity and finally captured the image I was looking for. Thank you fellow photographer so being so still.

My camera settings for this image is F10 at 1/125th of a second at ISO 320 with my Sony A7II and 16-35mm wide angle lens handheld.

All photos available for print and licensing >

From what I heard last week, today has been the day I’ve been waiting for all winter. If all goes well and all the wind and cold air that we had over the weekend didn’t effect anything then the Magnolias will start to peak today. Cash me ousside.

My favorite Magnolia trees are the ones at the Enid A Haupt Garden behind the Smithsonian Castle on the National Mall, but you can really find them all over the city. This image was taken at the George Mason Memorial facing the Washington Monument adjacent to the Tidal Basin. To be honest, spring time is really the only time that I spend time at this memorial. It’s a pretty small memorial compared to the others but the landscaping around it is fantastic. Its a great place to just sit on the bench and listen to the birds chirp.

So I’m really looking forward to spending more time here as spring goes on. Actually, that’s an understatement. I think the word really is anxious. I’m really anxious to spend more outside in general. I still have the list I created last year of all the places that I want to photograph. Like spending more time at Dumberton Oaks, the National Arboretum, Enid A Haupt Garden, so many! OMG I can’t wait. So see ya later cold weather. Time to go. Make way for the cherry blossoms. What’s up with March being so cold? 

My camera settings for this image is F9 at 1/60th of a second and ISO 200 with my Sony A7II and 28-70mm lens handheld.

All photos available for print and licensing >

You wouldn’t have to have followed my blog for long to know that flowers make me so happy. Every time I look at them, I just want to smile. So it made me so sad to hear that we were going to have a cold front and all these saucer magnolias were going to go away. They were barely around for a week. I’m grateful that I was able to enjoy them at least once this year. I love the mood the pedals all over the park bench and grass is providing. Sort of sad but still amazingly beautiful that I had to photograph it.

The cherry blossoms are a different story though. They may not even get the chance to bloom! Thanks to winter storm Stella we’re expecting 5+ inches and the cherry blossoms are not happy about it. I really really look forward to the blooms at the tidal basin each year so I guess it’s not happening this time around. I feel bad for anyone who has made special travel plans just to see them.

I’m trying to look on the bright side though. This whole winter I was asking for at least one good snow storm and we’re finally getting it. I don’t know if I’ll be able to make it to the city since the metro will be closed but I still plan on going out and shooting tomorrow morning. I’ll probably walk around my neighborhood with my camera and see if i can capture some flowers with snow. I want to go out early so I can capture some of that fresh, untouched snow. And of course, snow is always better when you have Frankenstein around 🙂

And yes, my dog has an instagram account. If you want to follow him it’s instagram.com/frankensteinwoopan. Hes the cutest.