shadows

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At any given time, you could have found me with at least 2 different cameras while I was in Turks and Caicos. Since I was not able to swim or do much physical activity, I figured I’d spend my time laying around or capturing images. (Which is an amazing plan if you ask me). So I ended up bringing 4 different cameras on the trip, 5 if you count my iPhone.

  1. Sony A7II
  2. DJI Mavic Pro Drone
  3. GoPro Hero 5 Black
  4. Canon T70 film camera

It may have been a little excessive to have at least 2 cameras on me, but that was the only way I was able to capture everything I wanted without having to go back to our room to get a different camera. But during the day, I loved having the GoPro and Drone. Both of these cameras allow such different perspectives that I’m not used to when just shooting with my Sony.

But to be honest, I’m usually very cautious when flying my drone in front of a lot of people. I know a lot of people don’t like it. It can be noisy and a disturbance so I try my best to only fly when there aren’t as many people around. One morning, Andrew and I woke up early just to fly the drone. It was great because at 6 am we were the only ones on the beach. I was free to fly wherever I wanted. But I do like images with people in it…

So the next morning, I chose to fly around 8 am. There were a few people on the beach but not as many as there would have been if it were later on in the day and I didn’t fly as long as I did the previous day. But it was great because the sun was completely out and the colors in the water were looking amazing. I especially like looking at all the shadows the sun created.

My camera settings for this image is F2.2 at 1/2200th sec and ISO 100 with my DJI Mavic Pro.

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This was captured on the same day after this image. Probably just 1 or 2 hours after the sunrise image was captured,

You know it’s so funny when you visit a place for the first time before the sun actually rises, everything is so dark and you can barely make out what’s in front of you. Neither Andrew or I had ever been to Joshua Tree and we had no idea what’s was really going on. But once the sun came out and you can actually see, it’s always so shocking and beautiful. Like, “I missed out on all this?”

So this image was taken on our way out of the park. I know we drove down this road during sunrise, but didn’t really know what it looked like. It just took my breath away once I could actually see it. I love the way the shadows are crossing the road. I believe they were created by some Joshua Trees but I am not completely sure. It mimics the clouds in the sky so well, almost as if it were a reflection. And nothing more says the American Southwest to me than those huge wide open spaces. I made Andrew pull over so I could capture it really quickly. Luckily we visited during the government shutdown and in the middle of winter when there weren’t as many people around. It made it really easy to just pull over and hop out real quick for the picture. Looking at this image definitely makes me want to go back soon but I’m not sure which is better, the extreme cold (wind) or the extreme heat that Joshua Tree experiences.

My camera settings for this image is F 4.0 at 1/5000th sec and ISO 800 with my Sony A7II and 70-200mm zoom lens.

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The best part about fall colors is that they are everywhere. You don’t really have to go far to enjoy them. Often times taking pictures around your neighborhood is just as good as going to Shenandoah National Park or anything like that. For example, Andrew and I spent some time in Manassas, VA over the weekend. Obviously Frankie had to come with us so we had a little mini photoshoot in the woods.

Now when most people think Manassas, they naturally think of the battlefields. But this was across the street from there. It was a great place to go with a whole bunch of trees. Plus Frankie is so photogenic, how could you go wrong 😉 In order to capture this, I had to take the stick he was chewing on out of his mouth and dangled it in front of my camera for him to look like he was looking at it. I was shooting on continuous and sort of hoped for the best. So when I first saw this image on my computer, I couldn’t help but smile.

Immediately all the captions started running through my head. For example…

  • ‘When they ask you if you want fries with that’
  • ‘When someone brings pizza to the party’
  • ‘When you’re sharing an ice cream cone and can’t wait for your next turn’

You get the idea. LOL.

Besides my furry model, I really enjoy looking at the shadows of this image. It was taken around noon so the shadows were extra long as the sun was right above us. I purposely had Frankie stand in the middle of two trees to help frame him and to make the image just a little more interesting to look at.

My camera settings for this image is F5.0 at 1/640th sec and ISO 500 with my Sony A7II and 16-35mm wide angle lens.

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Another one from Saturday morning’s amazing sunrise.

I was walking up the Lincoln Memorial steps when I just had to turn around and appreciate the morning light. It felt so good on my back that I wanted to see what it looked like and I saw this scene. My favorite part of it all is the light that is shining right down the middle of the image.  My eye keeps going to the huge shadow it created of the guy walking down the steps. It looks like the shadow is as tall as the Washington Monument!

I don’t usually put a lot of sunbursts in to my images, but I do shoot them a lot. Sometimes I feel like they can be a bit overwhelming and may take away from the image. In this particular one, I think it works well. I think it helps create the mood of the light shining down on the reflecting pool and everyone walking around it. I also think it’s interesting how the light effects the people depending on where they stand. The people who are closest to the reflecting pool look so teeny tiny, I love all the layers in this image.

On a side note, how about all that rain and snow we got? Please magnolias. Please stay warm and intact. I’m not so worried about the cherry blossoms. I think they’ll be fine. A similar weather situation happened last year where we got ice and freezing temperatures right before they were about to bloom and they were fine, for the most part. In some ways it was kind of better because it deterred a lot of people from visiting the Tidal Basin. All good with me! But I’m not so sure about how well the magnolias will do since they’ve already started blooming 🙁

The settings for this image is F22 at 1/20th of a second and ISO 250 with my Sony A7II and 16-35mm handheld.

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A couple of weeks ago, I was planning on meeting a friend for a quick get together. Something informal but still fun. So when it came down to picking the place to meet, I chose the Sculpture Garden at the National Gallery of Art. For real, if you’re in the DC metro area and you need a good place to talk, I’d definietly recommend this place. We sat at the benches right around the water fountain under some shade and it was perfect. The meeting ended quickly and I still had time on my parking meter so I decided to walk around the National Gallery of Art for a little bit.

The East Wing has always been my favorite. It’s the modern art part of the gallery and every time I go, I fall more and more in love with this space. It is just so beautiful. The light that comes in through the glass roof in the middle of the day along with all the shadows they create are so amazing. Just every corner of this wing is spectacular.

It has come to the point where I come to the gallery so often that I never try to see it all at once. I’ll pick a floor and take my time there. Really soaking in everything the exhibit has to offer. Then I’ll probably go to the rooftop terrace if it’s a really nice day and then head home. I never feel rushed and it makes it feel brand new every time I visit if I see something new. Regardless, it’s always inspiring and a great way to spend an hour or so.

The settings for this image is F7/.1 at 1/125th of a second ISO 160. Obviously it was a nice and sunny day out so I was able to capture everything with a low ISO.

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About two weeks ago, I visited Glenstone Museum again. My second time visiting but just as great as the first. This time however, I was really hoping to see Split Rocker in full bloom, which he was and it made me so happy. I circled him about 3 times while smiling before we had to go on with the tour. It’s crazy to see such a huge statute full of flowers. Props to Jeff Koons.

But I think my unexpected favorite was the Richard Serra piece called Sylvester. From the outside, it doesn’t look like much, but as you circle to the inside, you get all these amazing variations of sunlight and shadows. Also the way that the piece divides the sky is very cool too. I bet it’d look amazing during a really puffy, cloudy day or even a nice sunrise/sunset.

And it’s actually much bigger than you think it is but doesn’t take much effort to walk through, if that makes sense? Once you’re totally inside, the acoustics in the center are totally amazing. You can totally feel your voice echo inside you. Kinda surreal. But I can also see how it’d be distracting if you were trying to hold a real conversation.

So walking out, I noticed this form. Again it was the shadows and the lines that really drew me into this scene. The sun flare from the lens was an added bonus that adds a little bit more interest into this piece. I don’t know, abstracts like this isn’t something I usually photograph or post. What do you think of it?

If you ever want to have a unique museum experience, make sure to book a tour at Glenstone. It’s privately owned so you have to have a reservation but it’s completely free. Totally worth it, especially if it’s a really nice day and you can enjoy the outdoor sculptures.

My settings for this image was F/9 at 1/160th of a second at ISO 200.