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As many times as I’ve mentioned my friend, Larry on the blog, I’ve finally taken a picture of him! LOL, sort of. This was taken from the Altaire rooftop in Arlington, VA. We were actually leaving the rooftop when he was a few steps ahead of me. I saw him walk past this divider, I told him to stop, and act like he was taking a picture. I think this turned out cooler than I had imagined! I loved how the silhouette turned out.

Also really looking forward to going to New York this weekend. Besides PhotoPlus, I plan on just shooting a lot around the city. So this is basically what I’ll be looking like if I were a guy with a backward hat on. LOL.

Let me know if you’ll be in New York this weekend too!

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

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So the story behind these heads is that they were originally apart of a Williamsburg attraction called President’s Park. It started in the early 2000s and these busts were in an open-air museum type thing for people to pay to see. Unfortunately, people did not want to pay to see it so in 2010, the park closed and the heads were left to be trashed.

A man named Howard Hankins happened to help build the park but also did not want to see the busts go to waste. He bid and won them at an auction and ended up moving them to his property. I don’t think he had any real plans for them, he just didn’t want to see them destroyed. So they’re basically just sitting on his property and this is what they look like after sitting around for 9 years without any maintenance.

It’s pretty cool to see how decayed they are. I mean the details on some of these heads were incredible. I wanted to add an image here to give you a sense of scale and to sort of see how they are laid out. To the right of the image is my friend, Zack taking pictures of one of the presidents. You can see how an average height person comes to almost the shoulder of the presidents.

Most of them are lined up in rows like this. There were 3 long rows, a few shorter rows and even fewer that just stood out. Please don’t ask me to name all of them because I definitely can’t. LOL. But I was surprised to see President Clinton and both of the Bushs’.

My camera settings for this image is F5 at 1/320th sec and ISO 500 with my Sony A7II and 16-35mm wide-angle lens.

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One of my favorite parts about Chicago were all the elevated points of views around the city. For example, I mentioned before this image was taken from an L train station which was about two stories above the ground. Besides the L train, there were many views from rooftops and parking garages that made it such an easy city to photograph with so many viewpoints.

This image was taken at a parking garage. My friend, Andy wrote a city guide (which I plan on doing as soon as I go through all my images) and mentioned this one in particular. I loved the reflective surface of the building and decided this had to be one of the spots I visited. It was so great that I actually ended up visiting this spot twice in one weekend. Luckily, it was close to our hotel so it was super easy to stop by. But the funny part is that there were other photographers there both times I went.

Andrew’s not really one to be in my photos so I’m glad I was able to capture this photographer in her element. She had quickly just popped her head out, I think to check her settings and then popped right back into the garage but I am glad I was quick enough to actually capture this moment.

It was around 9a in the morning and pretty bright outside but one of my favorite parts about this image is the railing closest to my camera. I just love how it’s glittering in the light. Probably a detail only I would notice, but it just captures my eye.

Since I visited this spot on two different occasions, be prepared to see more from here.

My camera settings for this image is F8 at 1/320th sec and ISO 250 with my Sony A7II and 70-200mm wide angle lens.

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Chicago is such a photogenic city. I felt like everywhere I turned there was a new image to capture and I probably took way more pictures than I had expected to prior to leaving for the trip. Which is 100% why I am so excited for the photo workshop in July. The whole time I was walking around the city, I just envisioned walking around with some of you and having so much fun with our cameras. I was so inspired by Chicago and the vibe that I think I found some great photo spots to help you create some stunning images. So if you’re interested in learning more about spending a week with me in Chicago, click here. Feel free to send me or Focus on the Story any questions you may have.

This image was captured a little bit after sunrise. To be honest, I was surprised by how many people were out there so early in the morning. A little surprised, but not really because I did notice a lot of people walking around with cameras. Even in the non-touristy spots, there were photographers everywhere. But I’m glad I was there in the early morning because this spot can get real packed, real quick. Also that amazing glow that was going on underneath the bean was stunning! As soon as I saw it, I just kept on hoping and waiting for someone to walk right underneath. This lady was under the bean all by herself taking pictures and I love how her outfit just matched that early morning light.

PS Can you spot me in the image? Andrew is standing just a few steps behind me. I love how reflective that surface is.

My camera setting for this image is F4 at 1/1600th sec and ISO 250 with my Sony A7II and 16-35mm wide angle lens.

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I’m pretty sure it was my lucky week last week because we ended up having 2 snow days! The second came totally unexpected to me. I think I was so concentrated on the getting news updates about the polar vortex and how cold it was going to be on Thursday that I did not even see the snow on Friday coming.

From what I saw the day of, it was only going to snow a little bit for a few hours in the morning. I think the weather people were estimating an inch or less. But it ended up snow pretty much all day. I’m so glad because I was busy in the morning which left the afternoon for me to play in the snow with my friend, Birch.

We first met up at the View of DC so we could capture the whole city in a blanket of snow. But it was snowing so much that the visibility of everything was really low. While we were up there, we decided that we wanted to get back onto ground level and see what it looked like from Roosevelt Island, in particular the bridge. There was something that bridge that Birch really wanted to capture so we went for it.

Out of all the times I’ve been to Roosevelt Island, I’ve never actually crossed that bridge. Weird, right? So glad Birch suggested going out there because I love this image of her. I love the ice in the water that formed during the polar vortex, I love how you can see the snow falling but I also love capturing Birch in her natural state. LOL. Also having that extra snowflake blur on her is very interesting to me. A happy accident that brings just a little bit more attention to her and her camera 🙂

My camera settings for this image is F11 at 1/125 sec at ISO 200 with my Canon 5D Mark II 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.