pink

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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.

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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.