paddle boats

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I have no doubt in my mind that I will be able to post a new cherry blossom/magnolia/flower image everyday this month. It’s already been that crazy. Crazy but awesome and so much fun! So I think I’m going to do it.

This image was taken on an afternoon walk with my friend, Austin. It had been a while since we caught up, so we met up in the middle of the afternoon, walked around a bit and found ourselves at the Tidal Basin. I’m pretty sure that during this time of year, all morning, afternoon, and evening walks end up at the Tidal Basin. But it was still a great time nonetheless.

If you know me, you know that I usually stick to cherry blossom sunrises. The later on in the day, the more and more people who show up at the Tidal Basin and not that there’s anything wrong with that. The light is just a bit harsher and I personally like the quieter hours but there is something to say about visiting in the afternoon. The was so much more energy at the basin. I found myself just observing other people more and just smiling at all the different interactions with other people, dogs, and even the trees. Who knew there was even live music at the cherry blossom booths in the Paddle Boats parking lot?! LOL I thought that stage was just there for the weekends or something.

My favorite part of this image is the very right hand side where the cherry blossom branch sort of fades and all you can see are little dots of light. I love how the cherry blossoms are so out of focus that it looks kinda like glitter. Not to mention the swan boats forming a heart <3 My camera settings for this image is F7.1 at 1>

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I’ve had a significant change in my workflow recently. For a while there, I was team photoshop only! Everything that I ever needed to do, I could do it in photoshop. Why would I need any other software?

Well, thanks to my friend, Paul for showing me the light and the benefits of using lightroom. Don’t get me wrong, I am not an expert at lightroom or anything. I’m still learning how to do a lot of things but it has significantly cut my editing time down, especially when I’m working on multiple images from a shoot. I can’t tell you how much easier things have been and I’m lovinnnn’ it.

Paddle Boats, Washington DC, national mall, swan paddle boats, tidal basin, cherry blossoms, flowers, spring, lightroom, photoshop, workflow,

Left: F5.6 at 1/500th of a second ISO 200 Right: F5.6 at 1/2000th of a second at ISO 200

So if you use lightroom, let me know some of your favorite features about it. I’ve been slowly learning the keyboard shortcuts and things like that too.

I’m still team photoshop though. There are things in that program that I don’t think lightroom can replace.

So most recently, I worked on this set of images from my little paddle boat session with my friend, Birch. The whole experience was so fun. Mostly because I was with good company. But I loved the different point of views we were getting. Luckily, the swan paddle boats were motorized and we didn’t actually have to paddle. Which was a good thing because all we had left was steering and taking good pictures. Good pictures, I think I can handle. Steering on the hand, was not as easy. LOL there were definietly moments where I thought we were going to run into a wall and I had to reach my hands out just in case. Luckily we didn’t.

Paddle Boats, Washington DC, national mall, swan paddle boats, tidal basin, cherry blossoms, flowers, spring, lightroom, photoshop, workflow,

Top: F5.6 at 1/800th of a second ISO 200 Bottom: F5.6 at 1/1250th of a second ISO 200

Definietly doing this again next year!

My settings for the main image is F5.6 at 1/800th of sec at ISO 200 with my Sony A7II and 16-35mm wide angle lens.

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I have a huge list of things I still want to do and photograph in Washington DC. Crazy right? You would think by now that I’ve accomplished them all but this city is so lively and growing so much that I feel like the list gets longer and longer everyday. Well, a couple of Fridays ago, my friend Birch and I met up to cross one of those things off the list. It had been something I’ve been wanting to do for forever and I’m so glad Birch was awesome enough to accompany me in doing so.

We spent a beautiful hour on the tidal basin in a paddle boat!!! OMG it was so much fun. We picked the perfect day to do it too. That whole week had crazy cold wind but the day we were actually able to go, the weather was beautiful! The best part was that we went on a swan paddle boat which was battery operated so we didn’t even have to paddle at all! We just let the swan do all the work. But we did have to steer the boat. Which may or not have been the easiest thing to do… LOL We seriously spent the whole time talking, laughing and making sure we didn’t run into any of the walls. There were some photos involved too. Either way, I’m doing it again next year! Swan paddle boat or bust.

This image is not from the paddle boat though. This was on the way down to the tidal basin from our cars. I don’t know if I’ve ever seen a perspective like this before and I love the way that it turned out. I was just super lucky to have been able to capture that airplane too!

My camera settings for this image is F5.6 at 1/5000th of a second and ISO 400 with my Sony A7II and 28-70mm lens.

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For some reason it has just occurred to me that summer is almost over. What?! Like didn’t it just start last week? I feel like I now have to pack all these summer activities in the next 3 weeks before fall comes. What about you? What are the things you have to do every summer? My idea of a good time is just being outdoors. Although this past month it seems like it’s been raining more than it has been sunny. I hope that doesn’t mean we’re going to have a real cold winter.

In effort to jam in as much as we can these last few weeks of summer, Andrew and I have booked another trip to go to New York City at the end of the month. He must have realized how fast summer was going too. HAHA. We’ll be staying for a few days which will be really different for us. We’re usually there for a weekend and we’re gone. This time, I’m really looking forward to taking my time in the city but I already know if Andrew’s involved there will definietly be massive amounts of eating amazing food. It’s usually his job to find the food. It’s my job to find the photo opportunities. So I want to go to the places that I’ve always wanted to go to visit but we were never able to cram into a weekend getaway. Like art museums or trying to find some amazing views from New York buildings like the top of the Empire State building or top of the One World Trade Center. So if you guys have any New York City recommendations, please let me know. We’ll be staying in Brooklyn this time and Frankie is coming with us too! Family filled fun <3

So the settings for this image was F7.1 at 1/200th of a second ISO 160.

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H O M E!

Arrived into Dulles airport real late last night and went straight to bed. Today I plan on catching up on a lot of emails, laundry and image editing. Any image or place you want to see in particular? I’m taking requests. LOL. Can’t wait to start diving in to these photos. Only problem is that I took so many pictures that it’s hard to figure out where to start! Its a good problem I guess 🙂 More stories about our road trip as the blog posts start rolling out and there will be a youtube video!

But it feels so good to be home.

In general, many people ask me for my secret shooting location or favorite spot to shoot in DC. It’s hard to say. But what’s easy to say is my favorite parking spot. It’s 100% the paddle boat parking lot at the Tidal Basin, as seen on this map. It is by far the most centrally located parking space to all the monuments, but for some reason hardly anyone parks here. Theres always plenty of parking whenever I go. Plus it’s freeeee! The only down side to this parking lot is that it’s closed during Cherry Blossom season. 2 weeks out of the year? No big deal. I’ll take it!

Even if you’re feeling a bit lazy and don’t want to leave the parking lot, you get some beautiful views like this one. I love these new swan paddle boats. They make things so much more interesting.

I shot this with my fav, Ice Neutral Density Filter 10stop to get that silky smoother water. My camera settings for this image was F7.1 at 25 seconds at ISO 500 on a tripod on a super cloudy but beautiful evening.

Starting tomorrow will be images from our trip! Can’t wait to share with you! EEEKKKKKKKK.