skyline drive

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It’s been a busy fall season already! But I’m enjoying every minute of it. I love just driving down around my neighborhood and seeing all the colorful trees. So I obviously had to take a quick run down to Shenandoah National Park to check out the foliage around there. It’s become a tradition that my friend Larry and I will make a trip down and photograph the sunrise along Skyline Drive. This year, our friend Brande came with us too. It was a beautiful morning with photo friends.

In general, the trees were looking a little green along the drive so I think we were a bit premature in going. Regardless, it was great to watch the sunrise over the mountains. There were even little pockets of fog along the mountain range that made it even more special. But I didn’t get the shot I was looking for. I was either hoping for a really foggy morning making images look extra moody and gloomy or very colorful trees lit up by the sunlight. So since we didn’t get either of those, I’m thinking another trip to Shenandoah is necessary. Hopefully sometime soon!

My camera settings for this image are F11 at 1/30th sec and ISO 400 with my Sony A7II and 70-200mm zoom lens.

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Is it me or did Thanksgiving creep up on you too? I can’t believe it’s next week! In the past I would have already known what dishes I’m making but this year I have no clue. I have not looked at pinterest once! I need to get on that this weekend.

But in the meantime I have been going through some of the images I’ve taken recently of the fall colors. It was like I spent a week straight photographing different places around the Washington DC area to capture the color but didn’t have time to go through ALL the images. But this trip to Shenandoah National Park was definietly a highlight.

Shenandoah National Park isn’t exactly in the Washington area but it’s a great place to escape to when you need a little time with nature. On this trip I went with my friend, Larry and we were both pleasantly surprised by the sunrise color. In the past, we haven’t had much luck with color in the park. Mostly a lot of cloudy, foggy days.  So as soon as I saw that color come out, I was super excited to switch to my 16-35mm wide angle to try to capture as much of the sky as I could. I don’t know if you’ve noticed or not but lately, I’ve been really liking to have a blurry foreground element and have something in the mid-ground in focus. That is exactly what I was trying to do here with the huge rocks that I was standing on in order to capture this image. What do you think?

My camera settings for this image is F4.5 at 1/40th sec at ISO 1250 with my 16-35mm and Larry let me borrow his Sony A7III for the day.

And if you have any Thanksgiving recipe suggestions let me know! Something on the easy side 🙂

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Woke up at 4:30a yesterday to go light chasing!

My friend, Larry and I made our way to the Thornton Gap Entrance at Shenandoah National Park and it was fantastic. So many times I’ve been to Shenandoah National Park and run into fog like this and this. Yesterday was the opposite of that. It was cloudy but clear enough to see some fantastic colors. I haven’t had a chance to go through all my images, but I really liked this one. I think it really captures the mood plus I can’t stop looking at the light that is hitting this man’s yellow jacket. By the way, that’s not Larry. It was just another photographer enjoying the sunrise with us.

As far as a foliage report, I think this weekend would be a great time to go. This overlook, which is very close to the entrance, had some beautiful, colorful trees. As we were driving up the mountain though, we noticed that a lot of trees had already become bare with yellow leaves on the ground. So if you haven’t checked out much fall color, I’d recommend going to Shenandoah National Park soon. I’m not sure about the Front Royal entrance but if I had to guess, I’d guess it would probably be better to go sooner than later.

Man it’s like the fall colors came so quickly and now we’re already talking about them leaving? It’s like cherry blossom season in the fall. But speaking of cherry blossoms, I heard the Tidal Basin is looking real nice too. So I have a busy weekend planned of shooting.

Also Larry was kind enough to let me borrow his Sony A7III and I may be in love. My camera settings for this image is F9 at 1/80th sec at ISO 800 with Larry’s A7III and my 70-200mm handheld.

 

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So this is the type of weather I would expect for October. When it’s cool and crisp outside but still indecisive enough so you can get these really moody sunrise/blue hour type images. Not the 80 degree weather we have been getting.

I took this image last year with my friend, Larry. Pretty much ever since we’ve met, we’ve made it an appoint to go to Shenandoah National Park to check out the fall foliage. I think last year was our third year in a row. But I remember this day VERY clearly. It was crazy, crazy foggy. So foggy to the point where we could not see much of the mountains. It was all just fog. It was even difficult to drive at some points. Obviously Larry and I got out of the car to capture a few images here and there but we soon decided that we needed to have a second trip in order to actually capture the type of images we wanted.

This particular image was taken along side of skyline drive. We parked the car and were pretty much the only ones in the park that early in the morning so it was easy to just get out and walk in the middle of the road. It could have been a little dangerous considering how foggy it actually was and the visibility was basically zero. But luckily, I was with Larry and we would look out for each other in case a car was coming. The yellow and red leaves in this image just make me so happy.

Looking forward to the leaves changing this year in the park and hopefully visiting again sometime soon with Larry.

My camera settings for this image is F4 at 1/30th sec at ISO 250 with my Sony A7II and my 16-35mm wide angle zoom lens.

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Happy Labor Day! Hope everyone is having a great long weekend. Now that Labor Day is almost over would it be inappropriate to start counting down the days until Fall? Although you can’t tell, I took this image in the fall time a couple of years back. The fog had taken over the valley so much that you can’t even see anything but the beautiful curves of the mountains. I love the almost monochromatic blues in this image. It makes it so abstract and different from other images of the national park. Really looking forward to going back this year when the leaves start changing. I love Shenandoah during that time of year.

Speaking of traveling, this time next week Andrew and I will be on our way to our next travel destination. It’s kind of overwhelming since we just got back from California and planned this trip so last minute but either way I know it will be a great time. To be completely honest, we still haven’t figured everything out yet. It’s a place that neither one of us have been to and it will definietly be an adventure. Can’t wait to tell you about it soon.

In the meantime, let me know if you have in fall plans. I’m already loving all the pumpkin spiced things in the grocery stores but I have to be honest, the halloween and christmas stuff seem to be a TADDDDD too early though. LOL.  But so far my only fall plan is that there is a photowalk in the works! It’s going to be great and so different from the ones I’ve done before. So keep the middle-ish/end of October free. It’s going to be a good one!

My camera settings for this image is F13 at 1/20th of a second and ISO 125 with my Canon 5D Mark II and 24-105mm lens on a tripod.

 

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Sometimes I’ll get into these zones and edit a whole bunches of images all at the same time, store them onto my desktop folder called “haven’t blogged yet” and then totally forget about them. This is the case with this image. I took it last week when it was crazy foggy at Shenandoah National Park and didn’t even bother posting it on instagram or anywhere else. Umm whoops?

In order to get into these zones, I’ll put on my ear phones and not even think about anything else other than the music I’m listening to and the image in front of me. It’s so fun. Although if you were looking through my window I’d look like a weirdo because I’ll be bopping my head and flinging my pointer finger around to the beat of the music. HAHA

To be honest, I’m probably done with Shenandoah National Park for the season. I’m going to try to concentrate on photographing more local areas to me like Great Falls Park and DC for the rest of the fall time. It’s not that I don’t love going, it’s just exhausting waking up so early in the morning, spending a couple hours there and then driving back. I usually won’t be home until the afternoon and it feels like most of the day has gone. But who knows? Maybe there will be a sunset shoot or night time shoot in my future? We’ll see!

My camera settings for this image is F5.6 at 1/40th of a second and ISO 250 with my Sony A7II and my 16-35mm wide angle lens.