storm

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So this is what it looks like when you have a severe thunderstorm warning around sunset. I always think that this is the best time to take storm related pictures. The clouds are so dramatic but you never know what it’s going to exactly look like until you get out there. Sometimes the sun may peek through the clouds and create so interesting lights and shadows. Other times it is just plain drama. Either way, I love it.

This image was captured about 30 minutes before this one and I really like this point of view because you can see it all. The United States Capitol building, the dramatic clouds, and even the downpour of rain. Luckily, we didn’t get wet at all. Just in case though, we were standing on the grassy part of the Capitol grounds which had shelter right behind us in case it did start downpouring. I think it makes the adventure of taking pictures more exciting but makes for a cold ride home in dripping wet clothes.

This was also right after they turned on all the lights in the Capitol. I love the way it makes it look even spookier.

My camera settings for this image is F4 at 1/1000th sec and ISO 2000 with my Sony A7II and 16-35mm wide-angle lens.

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It happened! OMG! I’m pretty sure it’s because I blogged about it last week, but I was finally able to capture a lightning strike this summer. I still can’t get over it.

I had been talking to my friend, Andy sporadically throughout the day through text message when I finally asked him if he wanted to meet up for sunset. He told me he was already meeting up a friend for sunset but if I wanted to join them, I was welcome to. So I crashed their party and invited another friend and ended up having such a great time.

The best part was that we did not even get wet! The storms were passing right in front of us and we definitely felt some of those lightning strikes, but no actual raindrops on us. It was perfect.

The sunset ended up being dramatic but I stayed about an hour after to try to get a more distinct lightning strike. You can definitely see lightning strikes a lot better when it’s dark out.

Holy cow I did not expect this one. It was like Thor’s hammer slammed straight down into the Capitol Reflecting Pool. I’m still so excited I was able to capture it.

Since I got one, I’m hooked. I can’t wait for another storm to happen so I can try to get even more lightning strikes. Maybe now that I’ve blogged about it again, it will happen again 🙂 Fingers crossed!

My camera settings for this image is F4 at 1/8th sec and ISO 2000 with my Sony A7II and 16-35mm wide-angle lens.

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These summer storms have been getting intense. And it seems like they’re happening almost every day, right?

I’m so happy I was able to get out and photograph the skies in between some downpours in order to get this shot. It had been a while since I’ve been to the Tidal Basin so I completely forgot that the Jefferson Memorial is now under scaffolding. Hopefully, it won’t last too long because it’s just to clean the top of the dome, but with Washington DC, who knows.

To quote my friend, Larry “DC means doing construction” LOL.

Like I said, this was photographed in the middle of some downpours. I was there just around sunset when I noticed the rainbow so I immediately had to pull over. All of a sudden, the second rainbow out of the top of the Jefferson Memorial showed up. I was so excited. I was standing on Kutz Bridge in order to capture this and I even heard cars driving past and people going “Ouuu double rainbow”. LOL.

Hopefully, there will be some more storms in the future and I’ll be able to capture some lightning strikes. Those are always so exciting to capture.

My camera settings for this image is F8 at 1/20th sec and ISO 100 with my Sony A7II and 70-200mm zoom lens.

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Now that I’m feeling a little better, the blogs can go on as normal 🙂 Thank you for all your kind messages. They really made me feel better quicker.

I had been holding out on all the images I captured during Memorial Day weekend because I really wanted to be more thoughtful with those blog posts. So here it goes…

This image was captured the Thursday before the weekend had even started and it was totally unplanned. We got really heavy thunderstorms in the afternoon that seemed to have come out of nowhere and then all of a sudden, we lost power. With no power, Andrew and I were just bored, staring at each other so we decided that we may as well as go out and take pictures. Well, I was taking pictures while Andrew got some fresh air.

The US Marine Corps War Memorial (Iwo Jima) is the closest landmark to our house. When we arrived, there were 3 tour buses full of people standing around and taking pictures. I figured with so many people around the memorial, it would probably be best for us to walk over to the Netherlands Carillion which has a fantastic view of the DC skyline and wait out the buses for a bit. Hopefully, by the time we’re done, all the buses will be gone.

My wish came true!

We walked back to Iwo Jima and no one was there. We had the whole memorial to ourselves. I was so excited, I started snapping away. Eventually, I made my way over to some trees and were looking for some framing compositions when I saw this man come. He must have just gotten off of work, it was around 5:30p when I captured this and if I had to guess, he probably didn’t have any power either. I just love the way he was standing there and soaking it all in, I had to capture it.

My camera settings for this image is F13 at 1/500th sec and ISO 500 with my Sony A7II and 70-200mm.

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In honor of our road trip this past weekend, I thought I would use this week to reflect on all the travel and adventures my friend Sue and I have had together. We have been friends for over 15 years. It’s crazy how long we’ve known each other considering we’re just 16 years old. LOL Just Kidding. But it’s safe to say that we have lots of fun and embarrassing stories about each other. Just because we don’t live within 20 minutes of each other now, doesn’t mean we won’t be friends for life.

So this image is from our very first road trip across the country together. Neither one of us had ever been to New Mexico before so we ended up spending the majority of our trip in the state. We went all over but my absolute favorite place was definietly White Sands National Monument. It had been on my list to visit for forever and this road trip was the perfect opportunity to visit. But we were super lucky. The only night that we had planned on staying in Alamogordo, New Mexico was a night a storm was approaching. It was comin in hot right around sunset and made for the best moody skies. It was like a dream.

I distinctly remember being so excited trying to climb up these white sand hills but being so out of breath because 1. climbing up sand is difficult but also 2. because I was so excited to be there. ESPECIALLY with the storm approaching. I handed my camera off to Sue to ask her to take some pictures of me but I could barely get my sentences out. She looked at me with so much concern like “Are you ok?” And I just screamed, “Yea I’m just excited” and ran to my posing spot. LOL.

My camera settings for this image is F6.3 at 1/10th sec and ISO 200 with my Sony A7II and 28-70mm lens.

 

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I found the biggest difference between photographing the US Capitol and the other memorials like Lincoln Memorial or Jefferson Memorial during lightning was the fact that there was no real place to hide from the rain. At least when you visit the Lincoln Memorial and Jefferson Memorial, you are able to hide under a bit of shelter and still be able to create images. At the US Capitol there is nothing like that so you’re basically out in the open, hoping your camera gear doesn’t get soaked.

That was the case for this image. I actually had a huge rain droplet in the middle of my lens and didn’t even notice until a couple of frames after this image. Its ok though because I cropped the image to the most interesting part of the image anyways. I’m just glad I caught it when I did. Every time the lighting would strike, it turned the skies crazy purple. I love how the relationship between the lightning and the US Capitol dome. The lighting bolt is twisting and turning in all kinds of ways when the US Capitol is so straight and architectural. I think my favorite part of the image is the fact that the lights are still on in the dome. It some how gives it even more life.

I’m really looking forward to photographing more lightning this summer, especially since sunrise is so early now, I’ve noticed that I’ve been shooting a lot more sunsets and night images than sunrises. LOL. I woke up yesterday to capture the sunrise and it was totally washed out with rain. I should have just stayed in bed…

My camera settings for this image is F4 at 1/15th of a second at ISO 400 with my Sony A7II and 16-35mm wide angle lens on a tripod.