southwest

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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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Spent the last few days trying to figure out travel for the rest of the year. I haven’t gone anywhere since February, mostly because I was working on Snap DC, but I’m starting to get that itch again. Another trip back to California is in the works as well as a fun get away to the beach with my girlfriends. I can’t wait for either trip because I’ll be going with some of the people I love the most in the world. What about you, where do you plan on going this summer? Let me know because I’m also starting to plan a few fall trips as well.

This image was taken last year on our epic road trip across country. One our last stops was in Tucson, Arizona. As soon as we arrived, I knew I wanted to come back. First of all, it was hot like no other. We drove through one of the hottest heat waves ever. I heard there were some places where mailboxes were melting. That’s redonkulous! So I don’t think I was able to enjoy it like I would have been able to if it were just normal heat. I mean the first thing we did was drive to our hotel and immediately put on our bathing suits so we could just soak in the pool. LOL. We finally emerged right before dinner so we could eat and then go watch the sunset. Second reason I want to go back is for the saguaros. I loved Saguaros National Park. We only got to drive around for a little bit but I had never seen cacti so big before. I’d love to explore more.

My camera settings for this image is F5.6 at 1/100th of a second ISO 800 with my Sony A7II and 28-70mm lens.

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Happy Happy New Year!!! YAYAYAYAY!!!! 2018!

In 2017, I set a goal to travel for photo at least once a season. Mission accomplished. Here are my favorite travel images from 2017 in chronological order.

Click on the pictures to read my original blog post.

hofn, beach, sunrise, water, black sand, iceland, south east, town, Höfn í Hornafirði, fishing town, mountains, fog, clouds,

Iceland, you beautiful country. I love you. I’ll see you again soon, k?

black sand beach, reynisfjara, vik, iceland, travel, europe, western europe, nordic, socks, waterproof, waves, how to dress, cold, beach,

Captured in the middle of the day with my 10-stop neutral density filter. I love that thing. I keep it in my camera bag at all times.

iceland, vik, south iceland, black sand beach, sea stacks, birds, waves, water, cold, europe, travel, blue, mood, rocks, nordic, island, viking,

Took this one just a few hours after the previous image but on the other side of the sea stacks. Crazy how the different point of view changes so much.

iceland, travel, horses, icelandic, island, travel, wind, winter, rain, airplane, golden circle, Reykjavik, fences, road trip, driving, short, hairy, 16-35mm, wide angle, 70-200mm, zoom, sony

One of my favorite parts about Iceland, the horses! They’re so sweet.

I’m not sure if you noticed or not but once I got back from Iceland, I decided to work on my blog even more. Yes, I still post new images every weekday, but I’m taking the time out to write longer and more thoughtful blog posts. I just thought that an interesting change from this trip that I wanted to note.

meadowlark botanical gardens, nova parks, northern virginia, vienna, va, koi fish, gazebo, pond, blossoms, spring, flowers, cherry blossoms, koi, japanese fish, swim, bread, feed, food, outdoors, afternoon, walk, stroll, visit, see, camera settings, motion,

I captured this image in Virginia at Meadowlark Botanical Gardens. That counts as travel, right? My favorite part of this image is that little ripple the fish on top is making with his tail.

utah, moab, arches national park, devils garden, trail, trail head, rock formations, sunrise, shrubs, nature, landscape, mighty 5, hikes, research, plan, travel, vacation, southwest, america, usa, national park,

Arches National Park in Utah. This was one of the first images I captured at sunrise. I just love how the sun burst balances out the red rocks on the right hand side.

colorado, co, visit, travel, rocky mountain national park, antonios pizza, estes park, sunset, dinner, pizza, hike, trail, lake, sprague, tripod, camera settings, neutral density, nd, filter, tripod, reflection, mountains

I fell in love in the spring and it was with Colorado. Man o man, I gotta go back in 2018.

Rocky Mountain National Park, Colorado, co, travel, visit, sprague lake, sunset, mountains, trees, national park, trails, hike,

Rocky National Park is one of my favorites. It’s so hard to take a bad picture.

Falling Springs, Covington, VA, virginia, road trip, cross country, waterfall, landscape, blue water, rest stop, rest area, water, trees, leaves, branches, east coast, america, hike, rope swing, summer

The beginning of our epic cross country road trip. That was one adventure that I’ll never forget.

covington, va, virginia, road trip, travel, visit, waterfall, views, summer, swim, hot, alleghany county,

Taken on a tripod and a 10 second timer. I must have looked crazy constantly running back and forth in my flip flops. LOL oh well. Wasn’t the first time.

Saguaro, cactus, national park, tucson, arizona, mountain district, signal hill trail, east end, mountain district, cactus forest drive, desert, landscape, foreground, green, heat wave, photographer, photography, sunset

My first time seeing saguaro cactuses in real life. They are amazingly beautiful and so big. Now that I think of it, I should of taken another self portrait like I did in the previous image here.

Cadillac Mountain, Acadia National Park, sunrise, maine, bar harbor, north atlantic, east coast, highest point, october, chilly, wind, weather, temperature, clouds, clear sky, photographer, photo, photography, visit, national park

Visited Maine for the first time in October. I love how spacious and airy this image is.

Bass Harbor Head Light, acadia national park, maine, east coast, sunrise, neutral density filter, long exposure, climb, tripod, sony, a7ii, southwest, blue hill bay, mount desert island,

It was hard to find this perspective but once I did, it was totally worth the early morning wake up call and the climb down slippery rocks.

That’s it. Those were my favorite travel images of 2017. Can’t wait to capture even more in the new year.
In case you missed it, I did the same thing with just Washington DC photos. Click here to check them out.

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And then there was that time I went to Maine for the first time. Man, talk about a cute place to visit and I’m sure to live. I felt so happy while being there. Everything was so nautical and clean. Everyone was so pleasant. We spent most of our time in Acadia National Park and Bar Harbor but I’d totally go again to spend more time in Portland and other areas of Maine. And those lobster rolls!!! *Praise hands emoji* I definietly need to spend more time with those lobster rolls in the future 🙂

This image was taken at Bass Harbor Head Light in the southwest portion of Acadia National Park on the last morning we were in Maine. Now that I think of it, I wish it was one of the first spots we went to. This area of the park had the amazing fall foliage that we were hoping for our whole trip to Acadia and it was noticeably less crowded.

Getting down to this point of view was a little difficult. The rocks were pretty steep and slippery from the crashing waves but was so worth it. As soon as the sun rose in the sky, it casted this amazingly beautiful warm red color over the head light. (P.S. Why do they call it a head light and not a lighthouse?) My favorite is the red light being casted on the rocks on the left hand side of this image. Theres something about those dark black rocks contrasted with the warm sunlight that I really enjoy.

If you’re interest in seeing more from our trip, check out this youtube video I created. Just watching it brings back so many great memories.

The settings for this image is F4.0 at 1/60th of a second and ISO 320 with my Sony A7II and 16-35mm wide angle lens.

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And probably the most epic travel experience of 2017 was our cross country road trip from Northern Virginia all the way to Southern California. It was intense, but soooooo much fun. I can’t even express how fortunate I am to have been able to do something like that. Everyday was a brand new adventure with driving times averaging 9-10 hours everyday. That doesn’t include all our pitstops. Some were as long as touring Elvis’ Graceland to as short as visiting Cadillac Ranch in Amarillo, Texas for 10 minutes. Either way, it was a trip that I’ll never forget.

My favorite, favorite destination without a doubt was White Sands National Monument in Alamogordo, New Mexico. It has been a place that I’ve been wanting to go for the longest time and when the opportunity presented itself, I knew that was a place where we were spending the night. No pit stops, no messing around, we’re taking as many pictures as we can of this place! So that meant sunset and sunrise. Unfortunately the park wasn’t open at sunrise but we were still able to take some early morning shots which was cool, but not as cool as sunrise. LOL.

Fortunately when we arrived at sunset, a huge rain storm was about to arrive as well. It turned the skies all these crazy colors of orange and purple, I literally thought I was in a dream. Running up and down these sand dunes is no joke either. I was going crazy trying to find different perspectives with the skies. By the end, I was super out of breath. Note to self, forget your shoes and bring a bottle of water next time you shoot sand dunes.

My camera settings for this image is F7.1 at 1/20th of a second ISO 160 with my Sony A7II 28-70mm.

All photos available for print and licensing >

If you turned around from Bass Harbor Head Light and looked onto the water, this is the sunrise you would have seen. Heart eyes emoji!

It was the best sunrise we had seen all week! And again, I did not use my tripod to capture this, I was balancing my camera on the rocks. I really like doing that because it makes everything in the foreground look super big. A play on proportions if you will and a way to see things that you usually wouldn’t be able to see just with your naked eye.

And in the center of the water is a boui that had a bell in it. I loved it. It was so peaceful and calming to hear the bell ring whenever the wind blew it. At first I had no idea what was making the noise but once we figured it out it was like listening to church bells on a peaceful morning.

But we weren’t the only ones on the rocks savoring this sunrise. There were a few other photographers who were there and as morning went on, more and more people started to show up. At one point this guy screamed, “look a seal” and pointed to something that looked like it could have been a seal’s back sticking out of the water. I was so excited to see it because Sue and I had been looking for seals the whole week. I even pulled out my vlog camera to try to capture it. But when the “seal” didn’t move for 2 minutes and its back was still sticking out of the water, I could only assume that I was staring at a rock and missed the seal completely. Crying face emoji!

The settings for this image is 15 seconds at F5.6 ISO 320 with my Sony A7II and 16-35mm wide angle lens.