national park service

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So the next morning, I obviously had to wake up to check on the fog again. 

Luckily, I got to the Tidal Basin early. The fog really seemed to have rolled in overnight and you could barely see the Washington Monument anymore. I love how even though its dark on top, the sunrise colors are still shining through. Or maybe that’s just the light pollution from the city. Either way, I love how it came out.

I’m also glad that I went early because they actually start turning off the Washington Monument lights about 30 minutes before sunrise too. As soon as they turn it off, it’s almost like a dark monster in the air. It’s hard to see and even harder to photograph.

My camera settings for this image are F4 at 1 sec and ISO 320 with my Sony A7II and 70-200mm zoom lens.

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After a full day of rain, Andrew and I randomly decided to just go out to eat dinner. Weekdays we usually stay in and eat at home but Andrew got some good news so to celebrate, we went out. As he was finishing up some work, I was checking on the weather. I saw that we had a dense fog warning so I decided to bring my camera “just in case”.

Dinner was great. Dessert was even better. So after we were done, I suggested that we should go to the Mall to see what it looked like. I parked by the Monument and it was actually Andrew’s first time being so close. It was so weird because I had been there a million times. LOL.

Anyways, as we were walking back to the car and I decided to take one more look at the monument and I noticed that the fog and lights were creating this really cool shadow alongside the Washington Monument. I had to capture it. It was very cool to see.

My camera settings for this image are F4 at 1/30th sec and ISO 5000 with my Sony A7II and 16-35mm wide-angle lens.

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What do you do when the cherry blossom flowers have fallen? If you’re at the National Mall around the Tidal Basin, you find any way possible to gather and collect them. It was fun because I saw the NPS people use shovels and snow blower to pile them all up. Pretty much by any means possible.

But I kinda felt like a creeper because I followed them all around the Martin Luther King Jr Memorial with my camera just so I could capture this scene. I just couldn’t help myself. It was so beautiful. I already love it when the petals are  falling from the trees, they look so delicate and fragile. The snow blowers created a similar effect but x 3000. It was the coolest thing ever.

So when I captured this image, I actually had the person snow blowing the petals in the frame. In the end, I thought it was a little more mysterious cropping them out and removing all context. It just looks like a pink snow globe to me an I love it. You don’t get to see scenes like this very often.

It also makes you wonder though. Can you imagine how insane it would be if they didn’t pick it up? Just look at how much is on this little part of the wall and floor alone. That’s definietly a huge slipping hazard for when it rains. So thank you, NPS!

My camera settings for this image is F4.0 at 1/1250th sec and ISO 1000 with my Sony A7II and 70-200mm zoom.

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Today is the day! The day that the National Park Service announces their Cherry Blossom predictions for peak bloom. It’s not always accurate but it is a great way to gage if they will bloom early or late this year. With the amount of rain and snow we received this past winter, I’m guessing that it will be a little bit later than earlier. Don’t quote me on this but if I had to guess, I’m going to guess they are going to peak the end of the first week of April until the second week of April. But that’s the thing about cherry blossoms. They don’t last too long. I’d say about 10 days max but typically a week. If during that week we receive rain or a big gust of wind, forget it. Those flowers are gone. In the past, I’ve seen them peak as early as the end of March. We had an unusually warm winter that year and it confused everyone, including the cherry blossom trees. So my prediction is purely based on how cold I’ve been this winter. LOL.

This image was taken last year during cherry blossom season at the National Gallery of Art.
Pro tip– if you want to get away from the crowds, the NGA or even the US Capitol are both great places to check out the beautiful flowers with less people.

And if you find yourself booking a trip to Washington DC to check out the peak bloom, check out the cherry blossom guide I have been updating every year. It should have everything you need to know about the beautiful trees. If you have any additional questions, don’t hesitate to reach out.

My camera settings for this image is F5 at 0.6 sec and ISO 500 with my Sony A7II and 28-70mm lens.

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Today is the day! Today is the day that the National Mall NPS will announce their predicted peak bloom date for the cherry blossoms. I can’t wait. I’ve been on twitter everyday this week checking out what they say and what Capital Weather Gang has to say about the weather we’ve been having and how they’d effect the Cherry trees. As a side note, I’m pretty sure I just gained 10 cool points from that last statement. LOL. As of now, I’m just excited for the big announcement!

PS. Today is also the day that my March monthly newsletter goes out. If you haven’t already, make sure to sign up. I have a couple of really exciting announcements of my own that I’ll be announcing on the newsletter first!

Ok, now back to the image on this blog post. This was taken last year, early morning on a particularly beautiful day. It was the day after it rained and it created these amazing puddles all along the Tidal Basin sidewalks. It also rained so hard that there were flower petals all over the place and it felt like you were walking in a wet wonderland of pink. I had my headphones in, rain boots on, and I was having a blast walking around capturing the beautiful trees. It was just by accident that I captured the airplane flying by but I think it makes it a little more interesting to see. I also remember having to wait a little while for this area to clear because there was a big group of people standing underneath the trees taking pictures. It was well worth it because I love the way it turned out. However if you look closely enough, you will still see one person there still taking pictures. At least she’s a little camouflaged though. HAHA.

The settings for this image is F18 at 1/50th of a second at ISO 400 with my Sony A7II and 16-35mm wide angle lens.

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WoW! Time flies. I took this image almost 3 years ago in Zion National Park. It feels like yesterday that I took it because I remember so many details about being at that exact location. It was at the Canyon Junction shuttle spot and I remember driving up to it and being shocked by how many photographers had already lined up for sunset. We were at least an hour early! You can imagine parking being difficult but luckily we found a spot right off Mount Carmel Highway. I ran over as fast as I could and tried to squeeze myself and tripod in with the crowd. Andrew just stood back and watched. It was ok because pretty much anywhere you stood, you’d have a great view of the Watchman.

The sun was setting and I just remember being so excited about this image. I knew it was going to come out well. At that time, we were only in Zion for a couple of days but now that I think of it I kinda wish we came back to this spot. Not to shoot from top of the bridge again, but I remember seeing people right next to the Virgin River. I wish I knew what that view looked like. I guess that will have to be for my next visit to Utah.

Crazy how one picture can bring back so many memories, right?

Anyways, we took this in October. We were a little late for the color change on the trees but the weather was perfect. Not too hot and not too cold. It can be difficult to plan trips around nature but with that said, I’m looking to do another one this fall! I’m thinking either Maine or somewhere up North. What do you think? Have any good suggestions?