self portrait

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I got home from Taiwan the night before Thanksgiving. After 10 days in Taipei, I had mixed feelings about coming home. I was there visiting family, but when I wasn’t with them, I was free to roam the city alone with my camera. I don’t think I’ve ever felt such freedom in a foreign country and I really got to appreciate all the things that make Taipei such a great city.

I’ve visited many times when I was younger. I want to say at least once a year while I was in elementary school. As I got older, the visits became less frequent and the last time I was there was 2014. However walking through some of the same streets during this visit, I was still able to remember some of the places I used to shop or eat at. It brought back so many wonderful memories but also made me want to create new ones. I know in my heart that this will not be the last time I visit.

This image was taken just a few blocks from our hotel. I’m in a big group chat with a bunch of my girlfriends and one of them asked me for a picture of me in Taiwan. After a few days of being there, I realized I hadn’t taken any with myself in it, so when I walked passed this mirror, I thought it was the perfect opportunity for the self-portrait. I love how you can only see my camera, but also gives the context of where I am.

My camera settings for this image are F9 at 1/160th sec and ISO 250 with my Sony A7II and 35mm lens.

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The day I wrote this blog post about fall foliage, I create a fall photo to-do list. On that list were my usual spots like Great Falls Park, the Tidal Basin, Shenandoah National Park, etc but I also added some places I’ve never been to. Falling Water in Pennsylvania and Harper’s Ferry in West Virginia were top of that list. It’s amazing how it all played out because the universe was definitely listening to me that day and, by the end of the day, I had made plans to visit both of those places I’ve never been to that weekend.

So I’m home after a long weekend full of fall adventuring. I probably got a little ahead of myself because there wasn’t much color change in either of the places I visited, but it was great to do a little photo scouting and I can never really complain when I have a camera in my hand.

This image is actually taken outside the visitor center at the Flight 93 Memorial in Somerset County, PA. We stopped on our way home from Falling Water and it was definitely an emotional experience. But to document I was actually there, I took this reflective self-portrait that was 100% inspired by Vivian Maier who was an amazing street photographer and she would take these sorts of portraits as well. I thought this image turned out interesting with the lines in the glass but it is also very moody, which was how I felt while I was there.

My camera settings for this image is F6.3 at 1/1000th sec and ISO 320 with my Sony A7II and 70-200mm zoom lens.

All photos available for print and licensing >

I know it’s not obvious in this picture but I am loving life right here! LOL.

It’s true. The skies were moody and cloudy, I’m in my favorite place in the whole wide world and I have my airpods in listening to an audible book. What could be better?

Maybe a tripod… but meh.

I like the perspective though. It was another one of those, put your backpack down and hope that the image comes out well. At first I envisioned the dandelions to be as tall as the Washington Monument. When that didn’t work out, I just set my timer to see what it would look like if there was a human element in it. I liked it! So I started posing as if I didn’t know I was taking my own picture. LOL.

I remember I took this on a Sunday evening. I knew the sunset wasn’t going to be great, color wise, but I just wanted to get out there and go for a walk with my camera. It could have been the 4 slices of pizza I ate prior to the photowalk, but it was just so nice to be out in fresh air and doing what I love doing.

And PS Thank you Thank you Thank you to everyone who has ordered Snap DC so far. I am LOVING all the pictures you’re sending and all the feedback. You seriously made my whole year already. I don’t know how long this is going to last for but Amazon actually dropped the price of the book. I had no idea that they were going to do that so the original price was $29.69 and now its on sale for $24.78. So if you haven’t already, I’d get your copy of the guide now.

My camera settings for this image is F6.3 at 1/320th of a second and ISO 400 with my Sony A7II and 16-35mm wide angle lens.