sky

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It’s here! It’s finally here. The 2018 Dynamic DC Wall Calendar is here!

This is one of the images that’s in this years calendar PLUS there are 12 more that I think you’d like as well 🙂

Click here to check it out.

It takes me quite a bit to complete the calendar. I started on the project in the beginning of August and I’ve been going through many revisions to get it to what you see today! And my mom tells me every year that I need to show it to her first to make sure she likes all the images before they get printed…. so it’s Mommy Pan approved as well.

If you were interested in getting it, they are on presale now and at a discounted price. If you’re hesitant, just get it now. The discounted price only lasts until November and they usually sell out by December. However I think this year may be a little faster. I’ve already had people emailing me telling me that they want to reserve some before they’ve even seen it! That’s so nuts.

So one last time, click here to see your new 2018 wall calendar.

This image was taken in the beginning of 2017 and made it’s way to the calendar as the September image. I love the cloud formations and reflections you see in the Tidal Basin. But my favorite part of the image is the color change from orangey yellow on the very left hand side to the blue hues on the right. It started off as a foggy morning but once the sun came out, the fog and the clouds lifted and formed this amazing sky. My camera settings for this image is 1/160th of a second at F7.1 and ISO 200 on my Sony A7II with my 16-35mm wide angle lens.

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So weird that it’s Wednesday, right? I feel like long holidays always throw off my sense of days. Not that I’m complaining at all. I love them. I got to spend time with family and friends and there’s nothing better than that!

Saturday we had a lot of rain. It rained all day and was super gloomy. So in my head that meant that Sunday would have a good sunrise. Even though I was still in my ‘long holiday mode’, I still managed to wake up in time to catch the sunrise from the Lincoln Memorial. I was super lucky too. The sky only had a little hint of pink for a minute and then it was gone. The rest of the sunrise was cloudy and gloomy. But you know what’s funny? Around this time of year, I always see young people hanging out on the steps of the Lincoln. I can only assume that they just started collage and it’s the first time that they have complete freedom. So they stay up all night, doing who knows what, and then thinks its a great idea to watch the sunrise over the reflecting pool. They’re never rowdy or disruptive, but you can definietly tell that they’re struggling to stay awake. LOL. I’m sure I did similar things when I was in college. But hey, at least they’re taking the time to appreciate the new day 🙂 Which they’re probably going to just sleep through anyways. You can see what I mean on the bottom left, next to the column. You may not have noticed it, but there’s someone laying down there “appreciating the new day”.

My camera settings for this image was F13 at 8 seconds ISO 200 on a tripod. Luckily, this early in the morning, no one cares about about your tripod.

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So I stayed around a little longer to check out the sunset. I figured it was going to be good one after all the rain we got. Plus that epic double rainbow still had my shutter-clicking finger itchin’ for some more.

It was an interesting night. The west was fully covered with clouds. No chance of any light or color peaking through. The only color we got was coming from the east and it was so beautiful. This soft pastel-y kinda of pink invaded the lingering storm clouds. But I think my favorite part of this image is the US Capitol’s dome reflection. For the same exact reasons that I liked this one of the Washington Monument. The ducks swimming past just made it that much more interesting. Luckily these particular ducks just kept on swimming back and forth in front of my camera for some reason so I had plenty of opportunity to catch them at the right time. And the whole time I was trying to capture these ducks, there was an elementary school girl next to me taking a time lapse on her iPhone. Her friend kept on asking her to take instagram pictures of her but she explained that she couldn’t. She couldn’t stop taking the time lapse of the ducks and sunset because it was so “aesthetically pleasing”. She kept on repeating that phrase over and over again because she was just so proud of her time lapse. So the whole time I was taking this picture, I was definietly making a conscious effort to make sure my images were ‘aesthetically pleasing’ as well.

The settings for this image is F/8 at 1/250th of a second at ISO 1250. The light was dark and the ducks were going by fast. I had to make sure I got a clear image for the shot I had envisioned in my head.

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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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I’m really hoping this marks the beginning of storms here in DC. Summer is my favorite just because we can get some really dramatic skies and this past Monday was no exception. It was super hot over the weekend and finally a cold front came in bringing this storm that created the most amazing skies right at sunset. The storm itself was a little disappointing. We were expecting lightning and only saw a few really far away. But the clouds, the rainbow, the light soooo made up for it.

I met up with my friends Dave and Zack at the Lincoln Memorial. We figured that while it was raining, it’d be a great spot to take cover and still take pics at the same time. It was so fun running back and forth on the outer perimeter of the memorial. At first we were in the front capturing the dramatic skies. All of the sudden I turned around and saw this amazing glow coming from the back of the Lincoln. We ran back there to check it out and take pics. Then we get a message from Zack saying there was a rainbow at the monument. We ran over and started shooting that. It was so fun and exciting. I know we weren’t the only ones doing going back and forth. So many tourists were running along with us. LOL.

My camera settings for this image was F14 at 5 seconds and ISO 50. I chose to shoot this as a long exposure so I could blur out some of the people in the foreground. *What were they all doing there standing in the rain anyways? This was definietly shot on a tripod but somehow I left my remote at home 🙁 Oh well. There better be more storms in next few months.

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You know, sometimes waking up for sunrise can be really tiring. Am I right?

Somehow I forgot about how little sleep I get, especially after the spring equinox, and I just keep going and going. It’s hard for me to remember to slow down sometimes. Well, I definietly felt the effects of that last week. I had woken up for sunrise 3 days in a row. I think out of all the days, 1 of them was really worth it. The day that I took this image at the Reflecting Pool right in front of the Lincoln Memorial. I was super excited to see that little bit of purple pop out of the deep blue sky. But by the end of the third day, I was EXHAUSTED. So, I’m really proud to say that on Saturday, April 22nd I slept in until 10a!!! That’s crazy! I don’t think I’ve slept that much in 10 years. I don’t know what got into me but it felt soooo good.

Ever since I got real serious about photography and ever since I’ve been waking up for sunrise, my natural body clock will wake me up about an hour after sunrise. That’s usually about 7 or 8a depending on what season we’re talking about. The most annoying part is that once I am up, I can’t fall back to sleep. If you had known me when I was in college, I would of thought that was the craziest, most ridiculous thing ever and it would never happen to me.  I purposely made it so I had all afternoon/night classes and I’d sleep in for as long as I’d want. Usually that mean waking up at 11a or 12p. To think about how much I used to sleep in really makes me jealous, but its all good. It’s all a part of growing up right? Becoming a real adult? or something like that.