national park

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Before settling into San Diego, we spent the last few days of 2018 in Joshua Tree National Park. I was so excited because I’ve never been but have always heard how amazing it is. It totally lived up to expectations. It is beautiful.

The if-y part about it was the government shut down. We arrived just days after it started and wasn’t sure what it would be like in the park. Since it was our first time, I don’t know if it was quieter than usual but it was definietly like we had the park all to ourselves. With a couple of random people who would drive by, it was great to explore without having to worry about being in anyone else’s way. But on second thought, it could have been the temperatures that deviated people from visiting. It was cold! and so windy.

I captured this image on the very first day of 2019. It was a sunrise hike to welcome in the new year and the last thing we did before leaving Joshua Tree. If you’re traveling with kids, Joshua Tree is a great place for them to explore. These huge boulder rocks are along several very easy trails and if they’re anything like, Axl, he loved climbing on all of them. The only hard part was getting him up before sunrise. LOL.

I was standing on some rocks when I heard from a distance, “Tita Angela, you are so far away!” I turned around and saw his little head peeking through the rocks and thought it was the cutest little scene. I’m so glad he enjoyed the national park and look forward to hiking with him in different places as he grows up.

My camera settings for this image is F6.3 at 1/100th sec and ISO 800 with my Sony A7II and 70-200mm zoom.

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Woke up at 4:30a yesterday to go light chasing!

My friend, Larry and I made our way to the Thornton Gap Entrance at Shenandoah National Park and it was fantastic. So many times I’ve been to Shenandoah National Park and run into fog like this and this. Yesterday was the opposite of that. It was cloudy but clear enough to see some fantastic colors. I haven’t had a chance to go through all my images, but I really liked this one. I think it really captures the mood plus I can’t stop looking at the light that is hitting this man’s yellow jacket. By the way, that’s not Larry. It was just another photographer enjoying the sunrise with us.

As far as a foliage report, I think this weekend would be a great time to go. This overlook, which is very close to the entrance, had some beautiful, colorful trees. As we were driving up the mountain though, we noticed that a lot of trees had already become bare with yellow leaves on the ground. So if you haven’t checked out much fall color, I’d recommend going to Shenandoah National Park soon. I’m not sure about the Front Royal entrance but if I had to guess, I’d guess it would probably be better to go sooner than later.

Man it’s like the fall colors came so quickly and now we’re already talking about them leaving? It’s like cherry blossom season in the fall. But speaking of cherry blossoms, I heard the Tidal Basin is looking real nice too. So I have a busy weekend planned of shooting.

Also Larry was kind enough to let me borrow his Sony A7III and I may be in love. My camera settings for this image is F9 at 1/80th sec at ISO 800 with Larry’s A7III and my 70-200mm handheld.

 

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Thanks again for everyone’s feedback on the questions I asked earlier this week. It was so great reading everyone’s emails and messages. I felt like I got to know you a little bit better.

If I had to come up with some quick conclusions, about 50% of you are photographers the others are just art lovers. Most of you want to see some more youtube videos and just about 100% of you have some kind of connection to Washington DC. A lot of you just like the stories behind my images and just a few would like to know a little bit more about my editing processes, composition, etc. More than anything, I’m just grateful some of you actually replied to my questions. It helped out a lot and will definietly help me come out more interesting content in the future. Muchas Gracias!

So considering the fact that you all like Washington DC so much, heres a picture of Utah! Lol JK. I was just looking through some my images from last year and stumbled upon this one. I loved our trip to Colorado and Utah last year. It was definietly one of our more memorable trips Andrew and I have had considering we almost died. Twice! This is one of the stories. One day I’ll tell the second one. Maybe… hahaha. And if you needed more of a visual, here’s the vlog.

It was so hot while we were in Utah. Even looking at this image makes me sweat and it almost did not happen. Andrew and I had woken up to take sunrise pictures and that went great but as soon as the sun came up we wanted to get out of there. We were driving in our air conditioned car when we noticed saw Park Avenue. We didn’t see it on our way in because it was dark but as soon as we saw it in the day time, with all the amazing shadows I just had to stop. I love the orange/red rock next to the clear blue sky.

My settings for this image is F11 at 1/160th of a second at ISO 250 with my Sony A7II and 28-70mm lens.

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This image reminds me of this song. No particular reason why but whenever I am feeling like I’m “on top of the world” Brandy immediately comes to mind. LOL and the music video used to be so ground breaking back in the day with the different camera angels. HAHA.

Anyways, this image is from top of Old Rag Mountain in Shenandoah National Park in Virginia. I love the perspective because it almost seems like the people are just as large as the boulders. Believe me, those boulders are HUGE! And there I go again with the 3’s 🙂

The hike up to the summit is no joke though. I was pouring sweat the entire time. The east coast humidity didn’t help much either. I’m pretty sure those people were feeling it as well. But I’ve been getting private questions about how I find my hikes so I thought I’d address that here. Usually I’ll go by word of mouth and other people’s recommendations but if I’m looking into something totally new and different, then All Trails is definietly my go-to. It gives you all the information and more to prepare for your trip. My favorite part is when other hikers include images from their hikes so you can get a feel for what to expect.

All Trail labeled this hike hard and I would definietly agree. Our group had to stop a couple of times for water breaks but if you do this, I’d highly recommend brining more than just a little snack. Andrew and I both brought Vietnamese Báhn Mì Sandwiches and we were still hungry. So if you plan on hiking Old Rag, prepare for a long hike with amazing views on top!

My camera settings for this image is F5.0 at 1/1600th of a second at ISO 400 with my Sony A7II and 28-70mm lens.

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This may sound crazy but a couple weeks ago I bought my very first pair of real hiking boots. For the amount of hiking that I’ve done with just plain ol’ sneakers, these definietly came at the right time. Don’t get me wrong or anything, I feel no aches or pains with my sneakers, I just think that I’ll be better supported with some proper footwear. They’ll definietly come in handy next month 😉

But for now, heres an image from my last hike. This was taken at the end of the trail at Old Rag in Shenandoah National Park. Just steps away from the parking lot was this house covered by trees and bushes. It down poured on us at the end of our hike. By the time I reached this house it had already stopped raining but all the steam that came from the rain and the humidity mixing literally made everything glow. I just love how that one branch is pointing directly at the point of the roof to make everything so centered in this image. Even the trees surrounding the house almost look perfectly straight as if they were grown for this image. Everything is just so straight up and down, I love it!

Also, if you’re not busy tonight, you should definietly come out to the Community Collective show at Sospeso. This is the third time that my friend, Jarrett has put together a show to showcase so many creative people in the Washington DC area. It should be a great time. I even have a piece that will be featured and is for sale. So if you’re interested in seeing some great art work, click here to find out more information 🙂

The settings for this image is F5.0 at 1/320th of a second at ISO 800 with my Sony A7II and 28-70mm lens.

 

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This image is nuts. I can’t even believe I captured it because it’s really not supposed to look like this at all. This has got to be the worst flooding that I have EVER seen at the Tidal Basin and I’ve seen it flooded a number of times before. For example, here and here and even here.

The sidewalks were totally not walkable at all. I didn’t have my rain boots on this day but that would not have mattered. At some points I think the water came up to my knees. At that point I would have needed waders. Which is a funny story because I actually have a pair. Don’t ask me how I was given a pair… just trust me in knowing that I look super cool in them.

In order to captured this, I walked along the grass the entire time. It was pretty sad to see so many cherry blossom trees just wading in the water. At some points I would even see ducks swim by in places that was supposed to be a sidewalk. It was almost like I was walking through a really weird dream.

The only good side to this is that the reflections were unbelievable. The water was only moving when ducks would swim by but otherwise it was like glass. The sunrise was way better than expected so I was super happy to be able to capture it all in the water and make it look even more dramatic with the reflections.

My camera settings for this image is F4 at 1/500th of a second at ISO 1000 with my Sony A7II and 16-35mm wide angle lens. I noticed that a lot of the images I captured this day were in the shadows because I was walking around in the trees so much (with no tripod) so I had to bump up my ISO to compensate.