painting

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If you haven’t noticed, one of my all time favorite things to photograph are the cherry blossoms at the Tidal Basin every spring. It may get crowded and it may get over done, but I don’t know I just love them. It makes me so happy to walk around these big trees and feel like flowers are all around me. My absolute favorite is when we get a little gust of wind and you see the pedals flying off the trees. It’s literally like I’m in a winter wonderland of pretty, pink petals and I just get that warm fuzzy feeling inside.

So I started thinking, why do I like photographing these flowers so much? I think it all started from my Grandma. I call her Nai Nai. She lived with us all throughout my elementary school years. One of the clearest visions I have from that time is sitting at a desk with her and watching her paint Chinese water color paintings. I remember she’d spend hours practicing her strokes. She’d have one piece of paper and practice painting the same flower over and over again. I just loved watching it.

I’m not much of a painter but her love of flowers have rubbed off on me. If you look up from my desk, one of the first things you’ll see is one of her flower paintings (still waiting to be framed) and it makes me so happy. I think I’m subconsciously channeling my Nai Nai when I’m out taking pictures of the cherry blossoms.¬† Recently we were looking through my phone and I was showing her some of my photography. Every time I showed her a flower image, she’d look up at me, smile and say “PRETTY!” Other memorials and things, not so much. But if there was a flower, “PRETTY!” ūüėÄ

The settings for this image is F6.3 at 1/15th of a second at ISO 200 with my Sony A7II and 16-35mm wide angle lens.

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Not to say that I like one better than the other, but another favorite place to shoot fall colors is Shenandoah National Park. Just driving along sky line drive is so peaceful and relaxing. I never have a plan of what I’m going to shoot, I just go. And¬†each time I go is so different.

What’s crazy is that I shot this in 2011! Lately I’ve been going through some older photos. Like way back. And I still remember shooting this. This particular morning was foggy. You know me and how excited I get with fog.¬†But you can’t even tell that the leaves are changing or anything. I just love how the fog washed away all the details and all you see are blurred lines. It sort of reminds me of an abstract painting with an influence of Mark Rothko. The small hint of purple and pink in the middle of the image really draws my attention.

My camera settings for this image was F/18 at 1/20th of a second ISO 125 on my Canon 5D Mark II.

On a side note, I still get quite a few questions about my 5D Mark II. They’re mostly if I still use it and the answer is not really. The only time I really use it may be shooting fireworks. I just trust the camera remote on the 5D Mark II way more than the one on the Sony A7II. I feel like in that “high pressure” situation, (high pressure meaning, I can’t easily re-do it) I’d rather use that camera. Otherwise, it’s straight Sony equipment for me. I still have my¬†Canon body and lenses sitting on the¬†shelf. I may sell it in the future, but I’m not sure. We just have so many memories together that I don’t know if I’d want to give that away.

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I was thinking about Italy the other day. Mostly because I was thinking about pizza but the weird part is that we barely had any pizza while we were there. Maybe once? ¬†It was all pasta baby. And it was so delicious. 98% sure it’s the best food I’ve ever had. How about you? Where was the best place you’ve eaten?

I loved photographing the sunset from Piazzale Michelangelo. It was so peaceful and beautiful standing up there. In case you’re thinking about going-¬†there are a lot of stairs to climb or you can do the lazy route and get a taxi to get you there. That’s what we did. All the pasta was weighing us down. HAHA. Its worth it though. It is the best view of the entire city. It’d try my best to get there as early as you can though. A lot of people¬†were waiting for the sun to set even an hour before it did.

It’s also a great spot for people watching. There were so many different kinds of people there. A couple of people were there painting the sunset, others were photographing it, but everyone was enjoying it. There was even a Chinese couple standing next to me. They had no idea that I could understand them but the funniest part was when he was watching me change my lens. It’s like he was giving a play-by-play to his wife. Mostly because I tried balancing my lens on the edge of a balcony. I could feel that he was nervous for me. He kept on saying “too dangerous, too dangerous” and when I was done he gave huge sigh of relief. LOL. I don’t even think Andrew was that nervous for me. It’s funny how all these memories are spurred out of thinking about¬†pizza…