Smithsonian Castle

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I got another roll of film developed! It’s always so exciting to get your rolls of film back, don’t you think? For some reason, I always forget most of the images I photograph so getting to see the images is so fun. Tell me why I had images of snow and cherry blossoms on the same roll! LOL. I don’t always procrastinate on stuff, but I guess capturing images on film is one of those things that I think can wait.

So here are just a few of my favorite images I received. The one above is of the Smithsonian Castle captured from the steps of the Hirshhorn Museum. I don’t think I’ve ever noticed how the Washington Monument can be seen from this point of view. I loved all the layering and points.

It’s like spring all over again. Looking up at the cherry blossom at the Tidal Basin.

Classic view of the cherry blossoms with the Washington Monument in the frame.

This image was captured on a spring afternoon on a walk around Georgetown with my friend, Andy. We decided to get some bubble tea after we left Dumbarton Oaks and this was along the way.

A selfie in the “Mirror. Mirror” art display in Alexandria’s Waterfront Park in Virginia. This is very cool to see in person and would recommend stopping by if you’re in the area. Luckily, I was there when no one else was so I was able to get this solo self-portrait.

Obviously, these are a little out of order but it’s just so weird seeing this snow image with all the others. I love this view from the View of DC. So obviously I had to go check it out when the city was covered in snow. I think this image turned out pretty well considering it was photographed through a window.

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Taken right after I captured this image, this bird was basically singing in my ear. I turned around and I could tell he was having a good time in the Smithsonian Gardens hopping from one branch to the next. So when he actually stopped to pose for the picture, I had to take it. He kind of sticks out but also kinda blends in with the background at the same time which I like.

By the way, why are all animals always “he”?

Along with the cherry blossoms, I always look forward to when the Magnolias bloom around the city. I don’t think they get enough credit because they are beautiful too. It seriously feels like you’re walking through a pink wonderland sometimes with how much blooms around the city. I love spring.

Anyways, hope you all have a great weekend. I’ll probably still be out taking pictures throughout. Even though peak bloom has passed for the magnolias and cherry blossoms, I also kind of like it when the flowers are falling off a bit. When the pedals are all over the grass and in the Tidal Basin water. Especially with the rain and hopefully wind, we’re getting today it should make for some interesting petal formations. I’m hoping the Tidal Basin and surrounding areas will look totally different.

That’s the thing about cherry blossom/magnolia/flower season, it’s just so hard to let go. LOL. It comes and go so quickly when all you want to do is just sit and appreciate them for a little while longer.

My camera settings for this image is F4 at 1/80th sec and ISO 640 with my Sony A7II and 70-200mm zoom lens.

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Home from Austin, TX and I had a blast! I loved it and didn’t want to come home but since my friend, Sue just moved there, I’m sure there will be more visits in the near future. But more about that later.

The day before I left I went to the Smithsonian Gardens behind the Smithsonian Castle to go checkout the Saucer Magnolias. They were supposed to peak that weekend so I figured going there and checking out the scene would be a good idea. It was a windy morning but I’m glad my friend, Birch as able to meet up as well. We spent the morning catching up and it made the wind that much more bearable.

One thing I learned last year from photographing the garden is that there is this beautiful view of the Washington Monument. I don’t know why, but I never noticed it before. So when I went this year, I kept the mental note in my head and wanted to get some compositions with it in it.

I love the way this one turned out. I probably stood there for a good 10 minutes before I got the shot I wanted but this lady walking past with the grey coat was perfect. I wanted to create a lot of depth in this image so I kneeled down low to get a little bit of that fencing in the shot, then the plants in the center of the garden, the lady, the trees and then finally the Monument. All the colors and everything working so well together was just a happy accident. This definietly made me excited to shoot more flower images around the city!

My camera settings for this image is F4 at 1/200th sec and ISO 640 with my Sony A7II and 70-200mm zoom lens.

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So when I was trying to come up with a blog post idea for today, I actually google previous blog posts I created on this same day but in previous years. The best part about daily blogging is that I had at least 5 other posts I could refer to. The best part was that all of them were flower images too. That just added another check mark to the consistency tracker. LOL.

This blog post is paying an homage to the one I created on March 21st of 2016. Click here to see it. That image and this one were probably taken on the same day behind the Smithsonian Castle at the Enid A Haupt Garden. The best part about it is that in the caption I wrote, “I feel like if I ever had a book about my life, this would be the cover”. Well, the story about my life has yet to be written but little did I know that less than 2 years later, I would actually write a book. CRAZY! That image didn’t end up being the cover but I felt like that was foreshadowing to what really happened.

Fast forward 2 years, swap the magnolia flowers for cherry blossoms and it’s almost been a full year that Snap DC has been published. I still can’t believe it and it’s probably one of the projects I’m most proud of. I still get messages from people about how they’re using my book and feel inspired by it. I can’t tell you how happy that makes me. And if you haven’t checked it out already, I definietly talk about my favorite places to capture flowers around the Washington DC area and the Enid A Haupt garden is on that list because of beauties like these.

My camera settings for this image is F4 at 1/400th sec ISO 200 with my Sony A7II and 16-35mm wide angle lens.

 

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I’m happy to report that the Magnolia trees have been saved! The snow that we had last week didn’t seem to phase them much. I captured this image Friday morning behind the Smithsonian Castle at the Enid A Haupt Garden. I arrived a little bit after sunrise so I could get that beautiful early morning glow happening on the flowers. It was like walking in paradise. The birds were chirping, the wind was soft but nothing beats that early morning light.

In order to capture this image, I had to be patient. For some reason there were not a lot of people walking by or in the gardens. I stood there for a good 10 minutes before I even saw anyone else but I already had this vision in my head so I had to wait. There I was, standing in the trees looking like a flower monkey. LOL. Standing with my camera close to my face. I left my ear phones at home so I was blasting music by Drake from my phone in my pocket. This guy must have liked Drake too because he crept up behind me and scared the living sh*t out of me. I turned around and gave him a half smile and half ‘what are you doing?’ face. He just smiled back and went on his way shooting.

Obviously I had to stare him down for a little bit. LOL. And then I saw him walking to the the spot that I was waiting for someone to walk past. So I took advantage of the opportunity and finally captured the image I was looking for. Thank you fellow photographer so being so still.

My camera settings for this image is F10 at 1/125th of a second at ISO 320 with my Sony A7II and 16-35mm wide angle lens handheld.

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As I was sitting here looking at this image, thinking about what I wanted to say on this blog post, Andrew walked over to my computer screen and pointed at the image. This is unusual because he said , “Hey, that’s nice!” It’s unusual because Andrew doesn’t always like my images. I’d say about 50% of the time he doesn’t like them. It’s all good though. Because 50% of the time I don’t like the shirt he’s wearing. LOL. Just kidding. I appreciate his honesty. I rather him tell me what he really thinks of my images then him lying to me and always trying to please me.

But seriously, what’s not to like about this image? It’s like you’re being showered in pink petals and I love it. I love the magnolia trees that pop up all around Washington DC in the spring. And if I’m being honest, sometimes I think I like them a little more than the Cherry Blossoms just because they’re so much bigger and more abundant. It’s also nice because you don’t have to fight the crowds to photograph them either. But this view of looking up at them is my absolute favorite. The curves in the branches are so interesting.

These particular trees are located behind the Smithsonian Castle in the Enid A Haupt Garden. My favorite place to photograph magnolia trees because there are just so many of them in one location. Now that I’m thinking about it, forget what I said earlier this week about the snow. I’m ready for the flowers!

My camera settings for this image is F4.0 at 1/160th of a second at ISO 200 with my Sony A7II and my 16-35mm wide angle. The wide angle lens was key so I could get as much as of the flowers in one frame as possible.