Photographers

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Sometimes I go through my “Haven’t blogged yet” folder and I can’t believe some of the images that I haven’t blogged yet! Like this one! It was one of the first I captured this season and I love it because of the unique perspective.

I just happened to be walking around the Tidal Basin by myself when I noticed a group of people taking selfies. They looked like they were having fun so I didn’t want to interrupt them by walking past and being in the background of their shot. So I stood there a little while until they were done. But that’s when I noticed that to the right of them was a straight shot of the Martin Luther King Jr Memorial statue. Now that I think of it, I don’t know if they were capturing the memorial or the cherry blossoms in the background but the sun had just come up a little and the light was shining very nicely on the memorial and the trees surrounding it. It was like the beacon in the middle of cherry blossom trees and just screaming for me to capture it.

I probably spent a good 10 minutes just standing there trying to get this shot how I wanted it. It took longer because there were floating heads in some shots from people walking in front of my lens but it was totally worth it. I feel like the lighting and the framing worked so well to bring attention to the distant memorial.

I’m actually surprised because it doesn’t even look like there’s that many people in front of the memorial. Usually there are wayyyy more people during cherry blossom season.

My camera settings for this image is F5.6 at 1/640th sec and ISO 1600 with my Sony A7II and 70-200mm zoom lens.

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One of the places I was looking forward to the most while visiting Joshua Tree National Park was the Cholla Cactus Garden. From the pictures, I could tell that they were like cacti that I’ve never seen before. What surprised me the most was that some of them were taller than me! Andrew is 6′ and it looked like some of them were almost as tall as him! That’s insane.

One of my favorite parts about the garden was that it was right in front of these beautiful mountains. They made for an amazingly beautiful background at sunrise. More of those images soon but while I was looking through my images, I was really drawn to this one. I really liked having the photographers in the middle capturing the scene but still being able to see the cacti in the foreground and mountains in the background. The depth of this image is really interesting and perfectly describes what it’s like being in the garden.

If you’ve never been, the garden is a little bit out there but worth the drive. Probably 15-20 minutes outside of the other trails and attractions but I liked it so much that I actually went twice on our trip. One time with just Andrew when we went out for a solo sunrise adventure. The second time was when our cousins joined us later on in the day and I wanted to show them what it was all about. The sunrise adventure was a little bit better. Andrew and I were the only ones there and I loved when the sun rose a little bit and you could see the sunlight poking through the spikes of the cacti.

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

All photos available for print and licensing >

There are certain things you can almost always guarantee when you’re visiting the National Mall. 1. its stunningly beautiful 2. the monuments will always have you looking up 3. there will almost always be puddles so once in a while you should look down. For some reason, even if there has been no rain for days, this puddle will always be there. They are on the set of stairs that’s closer to the Reflecting Pool than the Lincoln Memorial but it creates these amazing reflections.

Sometimes I’ll find inspiration in this puddle, this time I thought it was really cool how that guy was looking out towards the Washington Monument and I love how I was able to catch that in the reflection as well.

If you’ve been catching up with the blog this past week, this is the 4th image in the hour that I spent at the National Mall photographing the sunrise this past month. I thought it would be real interesting to show the importance of making sure you aren’t stuck in one place and you keep walking around to find multiple compositions.

This image sort of reminds me of the first one in that there is a space in the reflection between the actual subject and where the reflection starts. I love how there is that peek a boo of trees just coming out. Everything just seems to line up real nicely in this image.

Click here if you missed the second and third image.

As far as Andrew and I? Today we’re in Geiranger, Norway. Out of our whole trip, this is the place that I’m looking most forward to staying in. We were able to get this cute cabin right along the water. I’m really looking forward to waking up and walking right out to this amazing view. Can’t WAIT!

My camera settings for this image is F7.1 at 1/400th of a second at ISO 500 with my Sony A7II and 16-35mm wide angle lens handheld.

All photos available for print and licensing >

If we are going to go in chronological order, this image would be next. The third image in the series this week of keep it movin’. Why photographers should keep walking around to find multiple compositions instead of finding one that works and stay in the same spot.

You can see the first image here and the second one here.

Now that does not mean that you can’t go back the same spot. I think certain composition work better than others depending on the light. You may be at one place but 20 minutes later see that the sun will hit it in a certain way and you’ll see something totally different. That’s fine. Just don’t get stuck!

I originally started off this photo trek at the reflecting pool. I walked from one edge of the pool to the edge but nothing was really inspiring me so that is when I decided to turn around and walk up the Lincoln Memorial steps. Once I was taking a few pictures of the Lincoln while the sun was starting to really come out and change the colors in the sky. I looked down at the reflecting pool and thought that it was the time to go back down. So I made my way back down and was able to capture this one. I love how the US Capitol is the main focus in this image. You don’t really see this point of view a lot since it’s so far away and people mostly want to photograph the Washington Monument from this angle. Funny how if you look real close, you can see other photographers on the other side of the reflecting pooll.

My camera settings for this image is F7.1 at 1/800th of a second ISO 500 with my Sony A7II and 70-200mm zoom lens handheld.

All photos available for print and licensing >

This is probably one of my favorite views ever of the National Mall. It’s right when you’ve reached the top of the Lincoln Memorial steps and turn around to see behind you. There’s just something about the columns framing the Washington Monument that makes me so happy. It was odd though, for a Sunday morning, a weekend morning, there was hardly anyone out. Usually you’ll see at least runners and small groups of people here or there. But I’m glad this lady was there. Her red shirt pops perfectly as she’s taking her own photograph.

This is the second image in the five images that I’ll be posting this week, encouraging photographers to walk around when they’re out taking pictures. You’ll never know what images you’re missing by staying in one place the whole time. The first image was right on the Lincoln steps leading up to this image. I really believe that if you keep walking around and try new compositions you’ll find new ones that you may have never seen before and probably end up really loving.

This five day series is coming because Andrew and I are in Norway! We landed in Bergen yesterday and spent the afternoon exploring the city. Today we’re headed to Flåm which marks the beginning of our road trip. Hopefully we’ll get to ride the railway system. Thank you to everyone who has suggested it. I am so looking forward to seeing more of this country. Planning the trip was so fun, I can’t even imagine what it’s going to be like to experience it. I’ll be adding pictures and videos to my instagram stories so definietly follow along if you’re not already.

My camera settings for this image is F7.1 at 1/80th of a second at ISO 2000 with my Sony A7II and 16-35mm wide angle lens handheld.

All photos available for print and licensing >

Since I’ll be away this week, I thought it would be kinda cool to pre schedule these blog posts to illustrate the importances of moving your feet while shooting. What I mean is that photographers can get so comfortable when they find one composition that they end up staying in that same exact spot for the entire sunrise, sunset or whatever period of time. To me, there’s little worse than coming home and finding a whole memory card full of the exact same images. I personally feel like I didn’t push myself enough or I could have missed an opportunity. Even something as simple as turning around and seeing what’s going on behind you can even lead to a more interesting image.

So everyday this week there will be a new image but they were all taken within an hour of each other. I would stop at each place for about 10 minutes or so. However long I felt was necessary and then kept it moving. I walked from the edge of the reflecting pool to the center to the other side of the reflecting pool. I would walk up and down the stairs of the Lincoln Memorial steps. And even go back down to the reflecting pool when I saw something cool happening over there. None of the images will be the same but all taken in the same area. I hope that you’ll find inspiration from this and keep your feet moving!

This particular image is one of the very first ones I was happy with this Sunday morning. Despite what you may think it wasn’t taken at the reflecting pool either. It was on the Lincoln Memorial steps. There just happened to be this beautiful puddle right and I stood behind it to capture the Washington Monument. I think my favorite part of this image is the little gap you see in between the trees and the reflection. I think it makes it much more interesting than if it were just a perfectly symmetrical image. The colors ain’t bad either 😉

My camera settings for this image is F11 at 1/40th of a second at ISO 800 with my Sony A7II and 16-35mm wide angle lens handheld.