pink

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Every year Washington DC welcomes millions of visitors traveling to the National Mall to take in all the sights and history. Many will start coming in the springtime to catch a glimpse of the beautiful cherry blossom trees at the Tidal Basin. They are alluring, but can sometimes be elusive. Especially when you are dealing with nature, you never know exactly when they are going to bloom or how long they will even last. In general, they will stick around for a week to 10 days. This already leaves a short window of time to see them and that doesn’t include the fact that these flowers are fragile and can fall off their branches with a sudden gust of wind or rain.

So this guide is for all you flower nature lovers who may have missed the cherry blossoms and are here to see what else the city has to offer. Don’t worry because there’s a lot! From Saucer Magnolias to Star Magnolias, Tulips and Forsythia, there is no shortage of beautiful blossoms in the city. You just have to know where to go to see them.

But if you are only interested in the cherry blossoms, I’ve got your back. Click here for the cherry blossom guide!

The National Mall:

Washington DC, especially the mall area, is a very nice area to walk. I highly suggest just taking the day to wander and get lost. There is no doubt that you will run into flowers and beautiful trees while walking around the area. Even the side streets that lead up to the Mall have pretty florets to look at. But if you’re on a time crunch, here are a few specific places to go:

Enid A Haupt Garden

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Going through some more images of my trip to Taiwan at the end of last year, I loved looking back on images I created from this corner of the city. It just reminded me of how colorful Taipei really is. I love all the pink in the image and it was just a coincidence that it says “PINK” on the billboard. I don’t think I even noticed that when I was creating this image.

And if you turned left into that street, it was blocked off to cars but lined with tents selling fresh fruits and other produce. Often times my mom and I would walk there, grab some kind of fruit as a snack and continue on our day. My favorites were the ones you can’t get back in the United States or hard to find like Dragon fruit or another one known as Sugar Apple. OMG so good!

My camera settings for this image are F5 at 1/2000th sec and ISO has 800 with my Sony A7II and 35mm prime lens.

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I realized that it’s been a while since I’ve posted a good old fashioned DC landmark image at sunrise. It’s probably what I’m best known for and where I got most of my photography practice, so I figured it was time to share another. Back in the day, I used to share these kinds of images every day. I really believe that it pushed me to develop my photo-eye and since then, I can see how I’ve really grown as a photographer. But don’t get me wrong, I still find myself waking up early in the morning to photograph the landmarks. I just don’t share them as often as I used to. Maybe I’m just more particular about the way they turn out now…

One thing I love about this blog is having a visual diary of all the images I’ve taken. Looking back, I have seriously changed my style a lot. I could not be more grateful for everything the Washington landmarks have taught me and would never stop loving wondering the National Mall at all crazy hours of the morning.

This image was taken back in September when the Washington Monument had just re-opened. It was fenced off for the entire 3 years that it was under construction so I had been missing the views that you can only get from this iconic landmark. I remember it being a really cloudy morning, I didn’t expect any color but I didn’t care. I just wanted to go photograph the Monument without any fences. I was so excited to see that pink come in. It only lasted for a few minutes, but it made everything worth it.

My camera settings for this image are F13 at 1/10th sec and ISO 800 with my Sony A7II and 70-200mm zoom lens.

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Taken on the same day we took the tour around the Reach, we ended the excursion on the Kennedy Center Roof Terrace. I am in love with this roof terrace. The lines are amazing and I love how you can get such a great view of the Potomac River and Watergate Complex Apartments. Everything about this place is a photographer’s dream.

So pictured in this image is Morgan. I met her during the tour and she wore the most perfect outfit to be photographed in. I’m in love with the color and how flowy it is. I think my friend, Jarrett had the same idea because he was the one who asked her to pose for a few images. I think his specific instructions were to “jump, but don’t act like you’re jumping” LOL. Worked for me.

In order to capture this image, I got down real low to take it. I wanted to make her jump look higher than it really was- like she is levitating in the air. And then I placed the top of the rooftop so that it made for a direct line to her face. Just everything about it, the colors, the line and simplicity of this image makes me want to practice portraiture even more!

So if you don’t have any plans this weekend, I’d highly recommend checking out the Reach at the Kennedy Center. It’s very, very cool and opens tomorrow 🙂

My camera settings for this image is F4 at 1/4000th sec and ISO 250 with my Sony A7II and 70-200mm zoom.

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A little Cherry Blossom throwback never hurt anyone, right?

I remember exactly when I captured this image. It was at the end of March and still cold out. I met up with my friend, Larry to try to photograph some of the really early cherry blossom blooms but also ask him tips about Texas. It was right before I left for my road trip to Austin so who better to ask for advice than a Texan, right? He was the best person to ask because he gave me a few places to photograph but mostly told me all about the great Texas barbeque and tacos. OMG, I still think about the tacos.

Back to the Cherry Blossoms- At this time there were a few branches with a few flowers out. It was kind of a struggle just to find these. As I said, we were still really early for peak bloom but it was great to scout out the compositions a little bit.

Luckily at the end of it all, I was able to get back from the trip right in time for the cherry blossoms peak season. To be honest, my friend Sue gave me a window to time to go on this road trip so I sort of planned it all around the flowers. I’m glad it all worked out. As soon as I got back, I hit the ground running. I probably woke up for Cherry Blossoms for 10 days straight. The 2019 season was an amazing year for the blossoms.

My camera settings for this image is F10 at 1/40th sec and ISO

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What do you do when the cherry blossom flowers have fallen? If you’re at the National Mall around the Tidal Basin, you find any way possible to gather and collect them. It was fun because I saw the NPS people use shovels and snow blower to pile them all up. Pretty much by any means possible.

But I kinda felt like a creeper because I followed them all around the Martin Luther King Jr Memorial with my camera just so I could capture this scene. I just couldn’t help myself. It was so beautiful. I already love it when the petals are  falling from the trees, they look so delicate and fragile. The snow blowers created a similar effect but x 3000. It was the coolest thing ever.

So when I captured this image, I actually had the person snow blowing the petals in the frame. In the end, I thought it was a little more mysterious cropping them out and removing all context. It just looks like a pink snow globe to me an I love it. You don’t get to see scenes like this very often.

It also makes you wonder though. Can you imagine how insane it would be if they didn’t pick it up? Just look at how much is on this little part of the wall and floor alone. That’s definietly a huge slipping hazard for when it rains. So thank you, NPS!

My camera settings for this image is F4.0 at 1/1250th sec and ISO 1000 with my Sony A7II and 70-200mm zoom.