national park

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This image was taken on my way out of the Cholla Cactus Garden in Joshua Tree National Park at early morning just after sunrise. The sunrise was particularly colorful but unfortunately we weren’t able to capture it from the Cactus garden. The sky was starting to explode with color while we were on our way over there and ended up taking pictures somewhere along the side of the road to capture the Joshua Trees as foreground instead.

Its funny to me that all my recent trips and memories of Southern California has been in the winter time. I feel like it’s a totally different experience than if you visited in the summer. I bring that up because I was actually talking to Andrew this morning and we were trying to recall if California had a lot of mosquitos or not. To be honest, I don’t even remember seeing a lot of bugs in general. I’m sure if they did, there would be a lot in the summertime but because we have been there in the winter, I can’t even remember. Can anyone shine some light on this question?

Anyways, I got side tracked. Joshua Tree is an amazing place to visit if you’re ever planning a trip. I hope to go back sometime soon and see more of the park cuz it’s huge. Maybe in the summertime so I can see for myself about the bug situation? LOL. But I know the temperature difference is going to be extreme. While we were there it was super windy and so cold that at times it was difficult to be outside. I imagine it to be the same in the summer but with the heat.

My camera settings for this image is F4 at 1/1250th sec and ISO 800 with my Sony A7II and 70-200mm.

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Guess what, y’all? I brought my film camera to Joshua Tree! LOL. Most exciting news you’ll hear on a Monday.

It was fun having two cameras with me. It’s even funner when I forget what I shot and pick up the roll of film to find all these images.

The above image was on our hike along the Arch Rock Trail. Our first taste of boulders in Joshua Tree NPS and I thought they were so cool. I love how massive they are and the beautiful formations. It sort of felt like you were on another planet.
PS. None of these images are edited. They’re all straight out of the camera.

I love all the brown tones in this image. Although this was taken at different times of day, check out my digital version of this.

Another little cacti action for the love of texture.

This image was captured on New Year’s day at sunrise along the Baker Dam Trail. The sun had come up a little and made the rocks glow in orange.

This morning was honestly one of the coldest mornings I’ve had in recent memory. It may not look cold but it was so windy, it felt fridged. I remember feeling the cold air through my shoes and thinking I did not wear enough on my feet. That was even through hiking socks and boots.

Out of all the images I captured, this is the only one I managed to take of the Joshua Trees on my film camera. I distinctly remember taking it because it reminded me of a heart. I <3 Joshua Tree and can’t wait to go back again.

Let me know what you guys think of these images. Shooting film is so nostalgic for me and I really enjoy it from time to time.

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I was so lucky. The first morning of our adventures in Joshua Tree was a beautiful one. We arrived in our airbnb the night before. It was already really dark out so it was difficult to see anything around us. We really had no idea of our surroundings. So Andrew and I woke up super early the next morning (no alarm clock needed due to jet lag) and made our way to the park. Being up before sunrise, it was still dark but it was so fun to watch the sun slowly come up as it revealed the landscape. I honestly think that’s the best way to see any new place. As the sun rises and slowly reveals what’s around you. It’s like a fun surprise and your mind is blown by all the things you missed out on. LOL.

This image was taken along the side of the road. It was not a designated stop but with the sky exploding with color, it was difficult to not want to pull over at every mile. I was literally like a kid in the candy store, pointing in every direction and making mental notes of places I wanted to go back to as Andrew drove around.

While capturing this image and landscapes in general, I remember I wanted to keep my subject in the image a simple as possible. I did not want a lot of plants overcrowding the image but I also made it a point to make sure the Joshua Tree limbs were not touching any other part of the landscape. The separation helps single out the Joshua Tree and making that the focal point of the image.

My camera settings for this image is F4 at 1/25th sec and ISO 2000 with my Sony A7II and 70-200mm ultrazoom lens.

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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.