pink flowers

All photos available for print and licensing >

The first morning we were in Oranjestad, my friend Sue and I walked around the city. It was so cute and every turn had something new and unexpected. I loved all the colorful buildings and homes and this house was no different. It was the pink flowers that originally drew me in but then it was all the cracks and tears all along the facade that really made me want to photograph the house. I just loved all the details and really wished that I was able to walk onto the porch but there was a gate blocking us from doing that.

So I captured this image with my 16-35mm wide angle lens. As we were walking around more I felt like I wanted to capture more detailed shots of the house. I opened up my backpack, trying to dig out the 70-200mm when I noticed a cat was sitting on the porch! I had no idea it was there when I first took the picture so I tried to remain calm and quickly put my 16-35mm wide angle back on the camera before I went any further. I’m not sure what happened but the cat quickly got up and ran away ๐Ÿ™ I was kind of disappointed that I wasn’t able to capture the cat like I wanted to but went back to review my images and I’m so glad I was able to capture this. It’s so funny because I didn’t even know he was there in the first place. He was a tiny little guy so I wouldn’t be surprised if you missed him the first time you looked at this image too. LOL.

My camera settings for the image is F8 at 1/800th of a second at ISO 320 with my Sony A7II and 16-35mm wide angle lens.

All photos available for print and licensing >

I spent yesterday afternoon in Dumbarton Oaks photographing the wisteria there. Can I tell you that Wisteria Hysteria is a real thing? They are so beautiful in real life. I must have taken a million pics. Not really but I can not wait to look through those images. It was actually my second time there this season and I can’t get enough of that place. Ever since I visited last year with Andrew, I made a mental note that I had go in the spring. I bet fall is nice there too. Let me know if you’ve ever been in the autumn time. I wonder if there are a lot of colorful trees.

Well anyways, this image was from my first trip this season. I think my favorite part of the gardens at that time were these magnolias. They were so big and hardy (is that the right word to describe them?) that I don’t think I could hold one in one hand alone. *cat heart eye emoji* Obviously I didn’t want to touch them but I spent a significant amount of time staring up and circling these trees with my camera until I found the perfect sun flare. Love you, spring!

PS Happy Cinco de Mayo maรฑana. I usually don’t celebrate holidays unless it’s Thanksgiving or Mothers day or something like that, but I’ll be celebrating tomorrow. I had the best week ever! Thank you all so much for the positive feedback to Snap DC. I could not be more excited about it and I am even more excited for you to hold it in your hands! Thank you, Thank you, Thank you!!! And yes, celebrations always include pizza ๐Ÿ™‚

My camera settings for this image is F22 at 1/25th of a second at ISO 200 with my Sony A7II and 16-35 mm wide angle lens.

All photos available for print and licensing >

So yesterday was one of the best days ever! I’m still trying to comedown from the high.ย  Andrew and I attended the Ball for the Mall and it was the most beautiful, exciting, and inspiring evening ever. Thanks again to the Trust of the National Mall for the invitation and using my images throughout the entire event. Everything was absolutely incredible. Promise I’ll share some images from the evening soon. I’m still trying to gather all my thoughts about the night.

In the meaning time, here’s a pretty picture of the cherry blossoms ๐Ÿ™‚ LOL. Like I said yesterday, I didn’t create too many images with the Jefferson Memorial and the cherry blossoms this year. I feel like it’s been done so many times that it’s difficult to make it different. So on that same day that I managed to shoot with very low battery, I grabbed this image. Initially it was the sun burst that caught my attention, but I’m a sucker for using the cherry trees to frame subjects. My favorite is the light that’s coming through the flowers. Doesn’t it make you feel all warm inside?

This is why we need to help preserve the National Mall and other national parks across the country. So that people can appreciate beautiful scenes like this forever and ever. Government funding only goes so far. We need additional resources that will help keep the cherry blossom trees healthy and all of our monuments and memorials safe and clean. The National Mall is a unique national park because it’s located within a city. We get so much foot traffic that eventually things are going to wear and tear.ย Please click here to find out how you can help.

My camera settings for this image is F22 at 1/100th of a second at ISO 400 with my Sony A7II and 27-70mm handheld.ย 

All photos available for print and licensing >

Ok, back to more cherry blossoms images ๐Ÿ™‚

Another one of my goals this season was to capture the Martin Luther King Jr Memorial with the cherry blossoms. If I was going to be at the Tidal Basin, I wanted to try different things from what I typically do. Going back and looking at my images, I barely have any of the Jefferson Memorial and the cherry blossoms. So weird, right? Last year they were like peanut butter and jelly. This year it was like the Jefferson Memorial didn’t even show up to the party.

I also realized that I don’t have very many images of the Martin Luther King Jr memorial in general, let alone with the cherry blossoms. So anytime I was close or even from far away, I was trying out different compositions. I was determined to get something I liked.

This one was taken about 30 minute before sunrise. As you can see, another windy morning but I love the color combination of the pink flowers with the blueish looking sky. We got real lucky this year. We had almost two solid weeks of cherry blossoms, compared to last year when we didn’t even have a week. So I had time to play with compositions. I still haven’t gone through all the images yet, but this one stood out to me. I like how he still looks very powerful and determined with the cherry blossom framing him. Like nothing can distract him, not even pretty flowers. On the other hand, I’m the one who’s driving around and will break for pretty flowers growing in people’s yards and point them out to all my passengers. Ask Andrew. He’s not a fan of when I do that. LOL

My camera settings for this image is F5.6 at 0.6 seconds and ISO 500 with my Sony A7II and 28-70mm lens on my gitzo tripod.

All photos available for print and licensing >

Finallyyyy a sunny day at the Tidal Basin. So far this cherry blossom season has been very cloudy, grey, and windy. Which isn’t necessarily a bad thing, but I prefer blue skies with my pink flowers. I think the color combination works so well together. So I was thrilled when we finally had clear skies and s-u-n.

This particular day I was not planning on being at the Tidal Basin, instead I parked my car along Ohio drive and I had every intention of staying on Ohio drive and shooting the cherry blossoms along the Potomac river. That quickly changed because I thought I saw some fog coming off the Tidal Basin and you know me and fog. It’s like a magnetic connection we have. I ran over to the basin and saw nothing. It was probably some kind of mirage or wishful thinking for some fog and cherry blossoms but either way, I’m glad I ended up there. Once the sun actually came up, the light hitting the blossoms was amazing! I couldn’t have asked for a better lighting situation. I could have asked for a better battery situation because out of the 3 batteries I had with me, I only had enough charge for about 30 minutes of shooting ๐Ÿ™ I was so upset when the first battery started flashing the warning because I knew I didn’t have much left on the other ones. How could I forget to charge them?

Luckily I was able to squeeze just a couple of images at the very end of the battery life and came up with this image. I love the sunburst peaking through the blossoms. I think the flowers underneath that are the ones that I look at the most. They look as if they’re glowing.

My camera settings for this image is F22 at 1/125th of a second at ISO 400 with my Sony A7II and 16-35mm wide angle lens.

All photos available for print and licensing >

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.ย  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!” ๐Ÿ˜€

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.