pink

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I’ve already started to scout out cherry blossom trees for next year. I’m committing to the idea of photographing the cherry blossom trees around the city and staying away from the Tidal Basin. I’m sad I came up with the idea too late to do it this year because it was such a great bloom, but at least it has given me time to think about other locations.

For example, Hains Point. It’s just east of the Tidal Basin and you sort of get the same feels as being at the basin since they are close to the water, but I really liked this location because there were a variety of cherry blossom trees. In this image you can see the Yoshino trees that you see at the Tidal Basin, but then you also get the weeping cherry blossoms as well as a peek of the Kwanzan trees. I love the variety of whites and pinks and it’s a great location for some cherry blossom portraits. The flowers are just as abundant if not more but it just doesn’t have as many people around.

When I was there I saw at least 3 photoshoots going on with professional photographers on a Saturday morning but these two girls had the right idea. From the moment I got there, they were having a blast with their own photoshoot. It reminded me of things my girlfriends and I would do when we’re on a trip together. Just having so much fun doing crazy things to get a fun shot. But I think the pulled out perspective really gives you an idea of just how much is blossoming in the area. I loved the rows and rows of trees.

My camera settings for this image is F9 at 1/125th sec and ISO 2000 with my Sony A7II and 70-200mm zoom lens.

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Last Friday we had our first rain of the Cherry Blossom season. It rained off and on all day but I was really hoping it would be a little more off than on. I just happened to have a photo walk with a camera club scheduled so at least until after sunset would have been the best time with me. Even though mother nature didn’t cooperate and started raining in the middle of the night, I was excited to share the experience with them. Rain during cherry blossom season means two things. 1: There won’t be as many people at the Tidal Basin. 2: The petals start falling on the ground. That’s not to say that I want cherry blossom season to end earlier than it should, but I just love the way they blanket the grass. It’s almost like snow when you watch them falling from the trees. I love it. They’re so small and delicate that it can be hard to capture but I think it’s just as exciting.

One of my favorite things to do is to get really close to foreground subjects and make them look larger than they really are. In order to capture this image, I actually just put my camera on the ground and started clicking away. I would move it in different places to get the composition I liked, but the main goal was to make the petals look big.

Although cherry blossom season may almost be over, I have plenty to share with you all! If we are counting the past 8 days of sunrises, I woke up for 6 of them. So I got tons and tons of pictures to share! Plus I can’t wait for the other flowers around the city to bloom. Ok, it’s been decided. Spring is my favorite season.

My camera settings for this image is F7.1 at 1/200th sec and ISO 1000 with my Sony A7II and my Sony A7II and 16-35mm wide angle lens.

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Home from Austin, TX and I had a blast! I loved it and didn’t want to come home but since my friend, Sue just moved there, I’m sure there will be more visits in the near future. But more about that later.

The day before I left I went to the Smithsonian Gardens behind the Smithsonian Castle to go checkout the Saucer Magnolias. They were supposed to peak that weekend so I figured going there and checking out the scene would be a good idea. It was a windy morning but I’m glad my friend, Birch as able to meet up as well. We spent the morning catching up and it made the wind that much more bearable.

One thing I learned last year from photographing the garden is that there is this beautiful view of the Washington Monument. I don’t know why, but I never noticed it before. So when I went this year, I kept the mental note in my head and wanted to get some compositions with it in it.

I love the way this one turned out. I probably stood there for a good 10 minutes before I got the shot I wanted but this lady walking past with the grey coat was perfect. I wanted to create a lot of depth in this image so I kneeled down low to get a little bit of that fencing in the shot, then the plants in the center of the garden, the lady, the trees and then finally the Monument. All the colors and everything working so well together was just a happy accident. This definietly made me excited to shoot more flower images around the city!

My camera settings for this image is F4 at 1/200th sec and ISO 640 with my Sony A7II and 70-200mm zoom lens.

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Just going through some older images of the US Capitol building, I ran across this one. Most of the time when I look at these images, I remember EXACTLY when I captured them, what I was feeling, etc. But for some reason, I don’t remember with this one. Did I even capture this images? LOL of course but I’m not sure what happened. Maybe I was just busy that day or something and didn’t have time to go through them all and eventually I just forgot about them? OR maybe I’ve just been to the US Capitol so much that all my memories are starting to mush together into one? I know it had to have been a sunrise. Either way, I’m glad found this image.

This is actually the original.

Dome, US Capitol Building, washington dc, tour, capitol building, interior, architecture, sunrise, capitol hill, NE DC, SE DC, pink

I really like the way that it came out but as I was waiting for my computer to save the image, I thought about what it would look like with a vertical crop. I tested it out. Which do you like better?

Either way, I love the two bright colors right next to each other. It’s so unexpected but very interesting to me. And the most unexpected part about the image is being able to see the inside of the dome! Look in the windows. You can see a little bit of the interior. So COOL!

PS. I’m still trying to get a tour of the interior of the US Capitol dome. Those shots would be AH-Mazing. I think I’ve written to my representative at least 3 times and still no answer. If anyone knows how I can get in, let me know the time and place and I’ll be there.

My camera settings for this image is F4 at 1/50 sec and ISO 500 with my Sony A7II and 70-200mm zoom lens.

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Before I left to Aruba, I mentioned the fact that I was really looking forward to seeing the flamingos on Flamingo Beach. And I’m so glad we had the opportunity to see them. To be honest, they were a little smaller than I thought they would be and there wasn’t as many but that didn’t stop me from following them around everywhere to capture their every move. LOL.

They were so fun to watch. Their little habits like stomping on the ground to get food and even biting themselves even while walking was so interesting to see. I think the funniest part was when they would get in the outdoor shower and wait for someone to pull the chain down so they can get fresh water. These flamingos are definietly not wild. There was even a little gum ball machine that had flamingo food that you could pay and feed them, but I was not trying to do that. I think that would be getting a little too close to the birds. My friend was trying to pose for a picture with one and she probably got a little too close. The flamingo actually bit her! She laughed about it while she was backing away and said that it felt like a little pinch but nuh-uh. No way would you ever find me that close to a bird. Even if they’re pretty and pink. Birds are birds. 

You can see in the background there are a few rain clouds. It did rain for a bit while we were in Aruba. It went away in about 20 minutes but it gave us a nice break from the constant sun. I think it worked out well though because I love the tones that it created in this image. 

My camera settings for this image is F4.0 at 1/6400th of a second ISO 400 with my Sony A7II and 70-200mm zoom lens. PS you’re going to be seeing a lot of the 70-200mm in my Aruba images. It had way too much fun with that lens. 

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It seems like everyday this summer has either been super hot and humid or super rainy, right? There hasn’t really been an in between in a while. This image was actually taken on one of those rainy days. It rained the night before and it rained right after this image was captured so I was really surprised when color actually came through the clouds during this sunrise. And as a side note super lucky that I left the Reflecting Pool right before it started pouring. The whole morning was really dark so I love the way the pink and purple hues brought out the contrast.

Now that I have my 70-200mm, I’ve been challenging myself to keep the lens on my camera without switching to one of my defaults.  It’s actually a lot harder than it sounds but I think it’s really interesting how subjects that I photograph all the time seem so different. I’ve always talked about getting really low or getting high could help make things look different. Well, getting a new lens can do the exact same thing. I captured this image at focal length 112mm.

Besides the color and the reflection, my favorite part about this image are the ducks. I always get so happy to see them, especially in the summer time. There seems to be new baby ducks all the time. Of course they could be the same ducks that I’m seeing over and over again, but they’re just so tiny that I can’t even imagine being more than a few weeks old.

My camera settings for this image is F4 at 1/60th of a second and ISO 1600 with my Sony A7II and 70-200mm. The reason the ISO is up so high is because this image was captured handheld.

Hope you all have a great weekend!