storm

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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.

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Every morning I have a routine. After I have settled into my desk and take care of the little things that need to be done, I will begin my day with processing an image. It relaxes me, it makes me happy and I feel accomplished once it’s done. I’m one of those photographers who enjoys the process of editing an image and I really believe that it’s at that time in front of the computer that your image really comes to life. Your emotions and vision become whole.

After I’m done, I’ll save it to a folder on my desktop called “haven’t blogged yet” and then uploaded the image to instagram. I usually come up with some little phrase or caption that suites the image but as soon as it’s up, I’ll mostly likely forget about the image. It’s kinda of those one and done things and then I’m on to working on the main focus for the day. However it doesn’t always make it on to instagram. I sort of have a love/hate relationship with the social media network. Most of the time, I love it. But there have been a few instances where the image just doesn’t look good. Whether it’s the instagram cropping, the resolution quality or even if it doesn’t fit well with the ‘grid’ view of my other images, there will be images that won’t even make it to my instagram. Is that being called being too picky?

On the flip side, people who follow me on instagram are the ones who are the first to see most of my images.

I have quite a few images in the “haven’t blogged yet” folder that have not seen the light of day on any social media. I still really enjoy them but sometimes, it just doesn’t fit well. They would only look good on my blog, facebook, and other social medias where you can see the whole entire piece. This is one of those images.

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So I stayed around a little longer to check out the sunset. I figured it was going to be good one after all the rain we got. Plus that epic double rainbow still had my shutter-clicking finger itchin’ for some more.

It was an interesting night. The west was fully covered with clouds. No chance of any light or color peaking through. The only color we got was coming from the east and it was so beautiful. This soft pastel-y kinda of pink invaded the lingering storm clouds. But I think my favorite part of this image is the US Capitol’s dome reflection. For the same exact reasons that I liked this one of the Washington Monument. The ducks swimming past just made it that much more interesting. Luckily these particular ducks just kept on swimming back and forth in front of my camera for some reason so I had plenty of opportunity to catch them at the right time. And the whole time I was trying to capture these ducks, there was an elementary school girl next to me taking a time lapse on her iPhone. Her friend kept on asking her to take instagram pictures of her but she explained that she couldn’t. She couldn’t stop taking the time lapse of the ducks and sunset because it was so “aesthetically pleasing”. She kept on repeating that phrase over and over again because she was just so proud of her time lapse. So the whole time I was taking this picture, I was definietly making a conscious effort to make sure my images were ‘aesthetically pleasing’ as well.

The settings for this image is F/8 at 1/250th of a second at ISO 1250. The light was dark and the ducks were going by fast. I had to make sure I got a clear image for the shot I had envisioned in my head.