national mall

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Taken around this time last year, I remember exactly when I captured it. This was taken after the first day we had come back from San Diego. While we were gone, the Washington DC area had gone through this insane cold snap. I remember getting texts from my friends all saying that they were going to come to San Diego because it was like 15 degrees below freezing or something crazy like that. While we were in San Diego, it was colder than usual but nothing like it was on the east coast. It was so cold that the Reflecting Pool had frozen over. It was so frozen that I saw people walking across it! I must admit I was a little jealous of the opportunity but was even more grateful to be in southern California. So feeling the fomo, I went down to the reflecting pool as soon as I could. I was glad to see that it was still frozen over because it made for a cool photo opportunity but the cracks in the ice did not give me the confidence to actually walk on it.

In order to capture this image, my camera was practically on the ice so I could get as much of it in the frame as possible. I remember really wanting to concentrate on those little ice chunks on top of the ice. It was so interesting to me.

So I thought this was a pretty cool throwback considering it was such a memorable event at our return from San Diego. As you’re reading this now, we have safely landed back home from another amazing trip to SoCal. Can’t wait to share more about it soon 🙂

My camera settings for this image is F9 at 1.3 sec and ISO 250 with my Sony A7II and 16-35mm wide angle lens handheld.

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One morning I found myself walking around the US Capitol with my 70-200mm in hand. It was right before Christmas and other than capturing the capitol Christmas tree, I wanted to get some images that weren’t just of the holidays.

So here’s a little secret, one of my favorite places to be is on the west side of the Capitol facing east at sunrise. It sounds counterintuitive but once the sun comes up a little bit, I love how it shines bright onto the building’s facade. With the beautiful architecture, columns, and everything else, the sun can create some interesting shadows and make the lines really pop.

I loved the way these columns looked from a distant angle. At first I was standing a little further back when I noticed the patterns they were creating. There was no way I was able to capture it without some blue sky so I kept walking a little bit closer and closer until I could finally fill the entire frame with it. With the warm sunlight shining bright on top and the dark shadows in the tunnels underneath, I thought it was a really interesting composition.

A few moments after I captured this image, a Capitol Police officer came out from the columns and it was an almost perfect focal point to capture. I was so excited and snapped a few images but then my camera battery died and the officer went back into the columns 🙁 I think I’ll be back sometime soon to try to recreate this and hopefully have some warm sunlight shining as well. Either way though, I really love the way it turned out. It makes me feel all warm and happy inside.

My camera settings for this image is F4 at 1/8000th sec at ISO 800 with my Sony A7II and 70-200mm zoom lens.

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When people think about Washington DC, one of the first things that come to mind is the White House. But for some reason, it’s never a real go to spot for me to go capture images. There are several reasons for this regardless of who’s residing in the house.

  1. The White House is located in a spot where it’s not great at either sunrise or sunset. The only way to get a really nice sky in the background is if you are lucky with one of those days where the color takes over the whole sky. Those days are so hard to predict that it’s just easier to be closer to one of the monuments as opposed to the White House.
  2. The security around the White House keeps getting increasingly stricter. Since I first started out in photography, you could actually get pretty close to the gate and no one would say anything. Now, you have to be a least across the street. With all the tourists all cramped up in one little sidewalk, it’s so difficult to get a great shot.
  3. If you are want to take your White House shot, try to bring the biggest zoom you can. It will be the only way you can get a close up shot without a lot of people in your image. This image was taken with my 70-200mm at 93mm.

This image also happens to be an image I took just for my book, Snap DC and had never been published before. I definietly remember the day I took this because I remember I parked my car, walked all the way to the White House, and then realized I left my camera in the car. OMG how does that even happen? I swear, only me.

So if you’re interested in more Washington DC photo tips like this, check out Snap DC on Amazon. Just remember to bring your camera with you 🙂

My camera settings for this image is F6.3 at 1/200th sec and ISO 320 with my Sony A7II and 70-200mm ultra zoom.

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HAPPY NEW YEAR!

2019! WOW. Not to total ignore 2019 but everytime I think 2019, I can’t help but think 2020 is just around the corner and that is just bananas to me. Like can you imagine people saying that they were born in 2020? The number is just crazy to me. P.S. Where are the flying cars at?

Anyways…

Much like my top travel images of 2018, I like to reminisce and look back on my favorite images from Washington DC from the past year. It makes me feel so fortunate to live in the Nation’s Capital. I love being able to hop in my car and within minutes be among some of the most recognizable and loved landmarks in the world. I feel extremely blessed and look forward to another year of capturing more images.

Click on each image to read the original blog post but I’ll try to add some additional light on these images now that I’ve sat on them for a while. In no particular order except chronological, here are my favorite images of 2018.

fog, tidal basin, winter, weather, umbrella, stranger, candid, washington dc, national mall, moody, cherry blossom trees, trunk, photowalk,

This day was definietly a highlight of the winter season. I remember we had some crazy foggy mornings but on this particular day, the fog happened in the middle of the day. Oh yea, it was raining too. Luckily, it was on a Sunday and I didn’t have much else going on. So what better way than to walk around the National Mall than with my friend, Birch. I still love how everything lines up in this image, even the little reflection you see in the puddle behind the lady is so interesting to see.

Click here to read more

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Happy Friday! I’m so excited for the weekend because Andrew, Frankie and I along with our cousins will be traveling to southern California to spend the first few days of the new year on the west coast. I am loving how this is becoming our annual tradition. As you may know, I love California. There’s just something about the atmosphere that is so chill and relaxing. I can’t think of a better way to ring in the new year. Plus it’s going to be considerably warmer there. *Praise hands emoji*

The first part of the trip will be spent in Joshua Tree National Park. We got this cute airbnb that has a really nice yard. I know Frankie will love it. Please let me know if you have been and have any recommendations for what to do there. It will be all of ours first time in the park and really looking forward to some fresh air.

The rest of the time will be spent in San Diego. I plan on capturing all the sunrises and sunsets I can but also catching up with friends that we haven’t seen in a year. Since our trip last year, I have definitely learned the types of images that I want to capture while in SoCal. I’m so looking forward to exploring even more.

Honestly, 2018 was one of the best years ever. Of course there were some lows but the highs were super high. Does that even make sense? LOL oh well, all that means is that I’m really looking forward to 2019 and all that it’s going to bring. I have blog posts scheduled to go out for while I’m gone but if you’d like to keep up with our adventures, definitely follow me on instagram. I’ll post a lot of stories on there and maybe some pics along the way 🙂

That’s me on the airplane flying away from the cold. LOL.

My camera settings for this image is F5.6 at 1/30th sec and ISO 100 with my Sony A7II and 16-35mm wide angle lens.

 

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Last week I found myself at the Vietnam Veterans Memorial. Usually when I wake up for sunrise, I don’t have a real plan of where I’m going to go. I just go where the wind takes me but on this particular day as soon as I parked my car, I knew exactly where I was going. It was around this time 6 years ago when I captured this image of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial. I’ve always wanted to go back when the wreaths are laid and I knew that this was my chance.

Unfortunately, I did not get the same light as I did 6 years ago but the wreaths were beautiful. You can’t help but feel thankful for all the names on this wall and their sacrifice. Then it led me to think about our current military and how some of them aren’t able to be home for the holidays. Even some our neighbors who have to work around the clock, just to serve like doctors, nurses, even postal workers. Thank you all so much.

In order to capture this image differently, I tried a new perspective. I basically placed my camera on the ground and wanted to get a nice line of wreaths in the shot. I like the way that it turned out but I can’t help staring at the reflections of the trees behind them on the wall. I love how they look so small and I think this is a real interesting point of view.

I’m not sure how long these wreaths stay at the memorial or even Arlington Cemetery. Hopefully I’ll get a chance to photograph them again in more light.

Thanks again to all those who serve and happy holidays to everyone.

My camera settings for this image is F4 at 0.3 sec and ISO 1000 with my Sony A7II and 70-200mm zoom