point of view

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Happy Independence Day and Happy Birthday America!

And #tbt to my favorite firework image I captured last year. Actually, it’s probably my favorite firework image I’ve ever created just because I’ve never seen anything like it. I love how everything is just so symmetrical. I was lucky to be able to squeeze my way to the front of the reflecting pool to capture this image.

Unfortunately, there may not be a view like this for a while since the firework location has changed this year. So if you’d like to see my tips and tricks on how to capture the fireworks and suggestions as to the best spot to capture them in Washington DC today, check out my guide here.

I’ll be out photographing the show this year, unless we get another one of those evening storms that we’ve been getting so much lately. Fingers crossed the weather works out.

My camera settings for this image is 5.6 at 1/10th of a second ISO 160 with my Sony A7II and 70-200mm lens.

Hope you have a fun and safe 4th of July 🙂

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I’ve consistently been writing this blog for years. I love doing it but from time to time I feel like I’ve run out of things to say and I’ll start making things up. LOL.  I figured that’s not the right way to do it.  So I’m hoping I could get your feedback. I figured I could get a list going and it would help me create more content of things you would like to see.

If you have just 10 minutes, I’d really appreciate if you could drop me a line and help me answer some of these questions:

What brought you to this blog in the first place? How did you find me?
Are you a photographer? Tell me about your photo background. Or are you a travel kinda person and just here for the images? If so, tell me about your travels!
Is there anything that I can help you with? Whether it’s improving your photography, finding places in Washington DC to photograph, etc?
What keeps you coming back to the blog?

Thank you in advance for any feedback you can provide me. Feel free to send me an email: [email protected] or hit me up on any of my social medias: @abpanphoto or anything! I’m pretty much everywhere.

As for this image, I took it a couple of months ago with my friend, Christa. I remember it being a really cold evening but that didn’t stop us from photographing the sunset. As soon as I stepped out on this terrace, I fell in love with the location. It’s just such a unique point of view of the Washington Monument and Jefferson Memorial. I honestly never realized how close Regan National Airport is to the National Mall. So awesome!

My camera settings for this image is F5.6 at 0.4 seconds at ISO 800 with my Sony A7II and 70-200mm lens.

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#TBT to last week on the National Mall and how I snuck my way to the best spot to capture the Washington DC firework show

To be honest, I’ve didn’t envision this. I don’t think I’ve ever even seen a fireworks image like this at the National Mall but it’s one of my favorites that I’ve ever taken. Luckily, I was so close to the reflecting pool that I was able to get this view point. It also helped that I was shooting with my 70-200mm and that this was taken at the very beginning of the show so there was no smoke or anything else to cloud the view of the Washington Monument. Just a very clean sky and an amazingly still day. It was kind of crazy though because I was so close to the reflecting pool that pieces of the firework shrapnel was falling on me. I didn’t even bother looking down to clean myself off because I was so focused on capturing light that there was no time.

This was my first time shooting the fireworks from here. So within that 30 minute window I had time to try different angles. Meaning I was standing up and sitting down throughout the entire show. I found out that sitting down was probably my best bet. I got some cool images of just the tip of the Monument but I think the advantage of being so close to the reflecting pool is the reflection. In the beginning I thought the fencing would get in the way, but I actually kind of like it now. It adds an extra element of line and reflection that isn’t usually seen unless it’s the 4th.

My camera settings for this image is 5.6 at 1/10th of a second ISO 160 with my Sony A7II and 70-200mm lens.

All photos available for print and licensing >

YESSSS! I am so pumped for this week, you have no idea. It’s my favorite holiday out of all the holidays, THANKSGIVING!!!!!! Theres no stress, it’s all about giving thanks and enjoying a good meal with family and friends. How can it get any better? My thanksgiving kicked off yesterday with my girlfriends as we celebrated, Friendsgiving. We had a blast catching up with each other and taking fun selfies. Can’t wait for the main event later this week. Imma wear my stretchy pants 🙂

So I thought it would be a great idea to take this week’s blog posts and talk about a few things I’m grateful for.

Today I’m grateful to be living in the DC metro area. No matter how many times I visit the city, I can never get bored. Whether it’s for photos, eating out, or seeing friends, Washington DC is always my favorite to explore. Theres just this certain energy about it. I’ve lived here my whole life and I still don’t think I’ve seen it all. It’s been amazing to see it grow and I could not be any prouder to be a Washingtonian.

I took this image last week with my friend, Christa. Weve known each other for years now, but for some reason it took this long for me to get on top of her office’s rooftop. As soon as I walked out I could not stop saying “WOW”. There are hardly any great vantage points of the Jefferson Memorial besides the Tidal Basin and this elevated view puts things in very cool perspective. You see those lights behind the Jefferson? Yea, that’s Reagan National Airport. Soooo cool right? See what I mean by never getting bored by this city? I love it!

My camera settings for this image is F4 at 1/6th of a second ISO 1250 with my Sony A7II and 70-200mm lens.

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Now that the spring flowers have basically come and gone. Everything in our area is looking very green. I’m really looking forward to all the summer flowers that bloom like the sunflowers and these lotus flowers. The best ones in the DC area are definietly the ones in Anacostia at Kenilworth Park and Aquatic Gardens. Its like rows and rows full of them. The only thing that’s not so great about them is that they are only open from 8:30a to 5p. Peak hours for the sun light to be shining down on them so they can be a little difficult to photograph.

My tip to photograph the lotuses during this time would to be find a large tree. Hopefully it’s casting it’s shadow on at least one of these lotuses so it would be very even lighting on the flower. They really can be really difficult to photograph under the extremely harsh light. If you can’t find one that’s in a shadow, then I’d recommend trying to shoot from the bottom looking up. They can look amazingly majestic from this point of view and the light shining down on them can really help. And especially with the pink color, they look great against a blue sky. I remember when I first found about these flowers, Kenilworth didn’t close their gate so I could walk in at sunrise. They must of learned from Great Falls Park to shut it down once it was closing time 🙁

My camera settings for this image was F9 at 1/800th of a second with ISO 250. I used my 100mm macro Canon lens and metabones adaptor to be able to shoot this on my Sony A7ii. My intention was to get the whole flower in focus and make the background blurry. I think the F9 aperture did a great job at doing this.

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When you’re having a good hair day and you want everyone to see it so you pose for the camera. LOL

Another one from one of my favorite places in the whole world, Höfn, Iceland. When I plan my next trip to this tiny island, I definietly want to spend more time in Stokksnes. One morning was not enough. Ideally, I’d like to spend a couple of days. What’s weird though is that it was the hardest place to book a hotel room. One minute we looked at a place and the next minute the same place blew up in prices. When I say blew up, I mean it went up by $500USD in less than 5 minutes. Sooo crazy! And then there were a lot of other places that weren’t even open for business at the time. Its such a small little town but I can see why the demand is so high. It’s amazingly beautiful here. And the horses were seriously an added bonus. They weren’t behind any kind of fence. They were just out here roaming. Next time I need to bring carrots and lure some of them on to the beach. How amazing would that be?

For this image, I was so happy to have my Sony a7ii. Its just so light and compact that it was easy to try out different points of views. The peak design hand strap made it even easier. Most of the time I had my camera down low like at my waist so I could get the horses to look very large and the background a little smaller. Especially with that huge mountain range, a lower point of view is ideal for this look. The thing that made the hand strap so great was that my camera was able to securely get down low, but my body didn’t have to. I was not about to kneel down into that grass. Do you know how much horse poop there was?