storm

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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.

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So after my lightning practice last week at the Jefferson Memorial aiming at the Washington Monument, I had another opportunity to shoot lightning the very next day. This time I was at the Artechouse, which you should definietly go visit. Their latest exhibit is probably my favorite so far. It’s a celebration of lights that really can not be missed. Anyways, I was about to leave the exhibit when I got an alert on my phone saying that lightning struck 3 miles away from my current location. So you know what that means right? Leave asap so you can go storm chasing!

I figured that the US Capitol was the closest, cool looking building to me. Luckily it hadn’t started raining yet and I always have my tripod in my car so I parked as close as I could to the Capitol and made my way over. I had a blast! The wind was blowing and the lightning strikes were crazy big. While I was at the Jefferson Memorial, I had to wait some time between each strike maybe a 2-3 minutes but this time they were coming every 15-20 seconds. It was AWESOMEEEE. I was out there for only 30 minutes or so before the real big rain hit but I’m super happy with the way that this turned out.

Every time the lighting struck it would light up the sky to this amazing blue/purple color. It was such a beautiful show. There were even people who were leaving the Capitol that couldn’t help but to stop and take selfies. Such an exiting night to say the least. I ran back to the car as soon as the rain really started to pick up and it was all good in the neighborhood.

My camera settings for this image is F4.0 at 1/13th of a second ISO 400 with my Sony A7II and 16-35mm.

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I have this song playing in the background as I’m writing this blog post. Although I don’t share the same thoughts about rain with Missy Elliot, I do appreciate a catchy beat when I hear it. LOL. Oh, how I make myself laugh.

If you’ve been reading my blog for a while, you’ll know how important music is to me. I love it. It just puts me in such a good mood. Whether I’m driving, taking pictures, editing pictures, whatever it is, there’s a song for any mood you are in. And watching music videos is something that I remember doing ever since the Total Request Days with Carson Daily. I’d come home from school, heat up a hot pocket, and spend the next hour mesmerized by song and dance. I think watching the visual representation of a song makes the song so much more enjoyable to me. I guess that means I am just a very visual person.

But about this image… This was taken right before a big storm was about to approach the Washington Monument. Luckily, it was around the same time as sunset and it made the sky turn this amazingly warm color in the sky. The coolest part is seeing the cloud formation right on top of that sun. I also enjoy looking at each individual flag and seeing how different they are blowing in the wind. Yea, that evening was something very special.

So unlike Missy Elliot, I love the rain. I love the pre-rain, post-rain, and rainbows. Actual rain, I’m sort of iffy about. As long as my camera gear doesn’t get damaged, then I’m all good 🙂

My camera settings for this image is F5.6 at 1/13th of a second ISO 100 on my Canon 5d Mark II with my 17-40mm wide angle lens.

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So all my dreams came true on this trip. Everything that I wanted to do, we did. I guess that’s why they call it a birthday trip, right? HAHA.

For this trip, we stayed in Brooklyn which turned out to be a lot bigger than I thought it would be. It was great because every morning we would take Frankie out to a park or something and wear him out. Then we’d spend the rest of the afternoon/evening exploring on our own. I’d definietly stay in Brooklyn again. It was so much quieter than Manhattan but still really easy to get into the city.

On the actual day of my birthday it rained. But the good kind of rain. It didn’t start until the middle of the afternoon so we were still able to explore in the morning with Frankie. Then when it was raining the hardest, we were already inside the MoMA. The perfect escape. Out of coincidence, Andrew made dinner reservations near Times Square. It was perfect because I really wanted to check out this rootop bar on top of the Hyatt Centric afterwards. It’s the tallest rooftop in Times Square and you get these amazing views of lower Manhattan while sippin’ on some adult beverages. It was still a little wet when we got up there but I didn’t even care. The rain clouds were still hovering over the city and I was having a blast. I think my favorite part of this image (besides the clouds) have to be the reflection in the tall H&M building. So crazy to see how big this city is and this is only a little piece of it.

The settings for this image was F/8 at 1/30th of a second ISO 1000. It was so dark that I had to bump up my ISO up even though I was also leaning against the railing.

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Hey Hey Hey! Guess what today is?! It’s my birthday! Virgo baby! I’d be lying if I said I was one of those people who don’t make a big deal out of their birthdays because I DO! I love my birthday. What other time do you get to publicly declare how awesome you are without getting weird looks? Plus theres birthday cake. And I love birthday cake. Especially on a Tuesday. With extra frosting. And ice cream on the side 🙂 Hopefully there will be some french fries today too.

I’m also really proud of the fact that today is Michael Jackson’s birthday as well. Birthday twins! RIP. Two creative geniuses born on the same day. HAHA JK about me being a creative genius. See, I can say stuff like that because today is my birthday 🙂

Anyways… I took this shot a couple of years ago after a summer storm in the DC area. It was a crazy evening because the storm ended right around sunset. I wasn’t expecting much because I thought the sunset wouldn’t have had time to shine through but then the rainbow popped up. We were there just in time. The glow from the sun and the clouds made this an even more incredible scene. I just love the red/orangey hues contrasted with the blue skies. I feel lucky that I was able to even witness it, let alone photograph it. I just remember being really, really happy when it was all over. Just a few minutes later the storm clouds kept rolling in and another storm was hit the Marine Corps Memorial . I got wet but it was totally worth it. Nothing makes me happier than to see colorful skies like this.

My camera settings for this image was F/22 at 1 second ISO 64 on a tripod.