street lights

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I’m not sure when I started to become a sunset/night photographer but it just sort of started happening naturally. The summer days have been rough to wake up for sunrise but to be honest, the sunsets have been looking way better than sunrise anyways. Sunset around Washington DC has it’s own interesting challenges like parking and dealing with the crowds of people but the more I get out there, the more I’m appreciating the sunset glow more and more.

But this image came by accident. I was out with Zack (again, on a different night) to photograph the Lincoln Memorial at sunset. The sunset wasn’t really what we expected so we waited a bit longer for blue hour to try to capture the monuments at night. Then when I was about to say bye to Zack and walk back to my car, I saw a lightning bolt out of the corner of my eye.

OMG change of plans. I did not end up going back to my car, quickly texted Andrew that I was going to be home later than I expected and both Zack and I started looking at weather apps to see where the storm was headed. We made a game plan to try to capture it by the Tidal Basin and then as the storm moved forward we were going to try to capture it with the Washington Monument. It ended up being a super exciting night of storm chasing but the only problem was that I left my tripod in my car! Argh! Capturing lightning is significantly easier with a tripod and remote.

So I had to improvise. In order to capture this, I was basically just sitting on the ground hoping to get something. I was so lucky. But I also LOVE how the street lights are red. It’s sort of like a warning to not pass in case of lightning.

My camera settings for this image is f4 at 1/15th sec and ISO 1250 with my Sony A7II and 16-35 wide-angle lens.

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Last week was a pretty awesome week for storms. I’ll post more on that soon. But that doesn’t go so well with trying to capture the full moon rising.

Fortunately, I was out with my friend, Zack to capture it. It was his idea to head to Freedom Plaza to try to get the moon over the Capitol dome but things didn’t go as planned. It took a while for us to actually see the moon because of all the low hanging storm clouds. So I’m glad Zack was there to hang out with while we waited. If it weren’t for him, I probably would have just given up and left before we were able to see it.

I love how the moon looks like an orange ball of light in the sky. It’s a nice centerpiece to all the other lights going on in the image. By the way, I could have done without all the construction cones and lights. It seems like everywhere you turn there’s some kind of construction in Washington. This is along Pennsylvania Ave.

Anyways, I’ve made it an appoint to mark my calendar for the rest of the year for full and new moons. The best moons always happen in the fall time so I can’t wait to capture some more 🙂

My camera settings for this image is F5 at 1/5th sec and ISO 800 with my Sony A7II and 70-200mm on a tripod.

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Last week was pretty epic. Not only did we have one of the coldest days of winter that we’ve had this entire season but it was also the super blood wolf moon eclipse moon turn red night too. I made up that long title but you know what I mean. Everything about last Sunday was intense.

I got a lot of messages asking if I photographed it and I’m sad to say I did not. I thought I would give moon rise a go and see how that went. If it wasn’t too bad I may have set my alarm to photograph the actual eclipse, but I just couldn’t. The moonrise was so cold and windy, I can still feel the wind blowing on my back. Coming from the California sun to highs of 15 degrees, my body was not ready for it.

So I spent the early evening with my friend, Birch chasing the moon rise. We used the app, photopills to help guide us where to go and ended up at the US Capitol. Once we saw it, we were both so excited. It was so big and beautiful. If you were out that night, you would have found us up and down Maryland Ave, basically screaming at each other through the wind saying how beautiful it was. LOL. I know cars driving past us most of thought we were crazy. LOL whatevs.

I finally came upon this closer to 3rd street. I love the way the moonlight is playing the street lamps. Even the lights lining the balcony on the US Capitol is very interesting for me to look at. If only that one street lamp on the left was on 🙁

My camera settings for this image is F4 at 1/160th sec with my Sony A7II and 70-200mm zoom.

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Another one from this past weekend’s fog. I took this one around 6:15a while walking to the Lincoln Memorial. It was about 30-ish minutes before the sun was supposed to rise and I purposely parked my car in a spot that I usually don’t. The only reason why I did that was so I could walk to the memorial in a different direction that I usually do. I was sure I was going to see some different, interesting composition and I did! I love the way this one turned out. In order to capture it, I was standing in the middle of the road on a median but that early in the morning it didn’t really matter. There were no cars anywhere in sight. I probably stood there for a good 20 minutes waiting for some light trails or something but none showed up. I mean, it was Saturday morning at 6:15a. Where did everyone go?! LOL

I love how the fog plays with the street lights in this image. At first I was trying to shoot it at F22 so I could get some interesting starbursts coming out of them but it wasn’t really working out. I think the fog was spreading the light out too much in order to get anything. Maybe if you look at the center most one on the left hand side you can see it a little bit going on over there, but otherwise, they’re pretty much little balls of light.

Note to self: shoot this same spot on a really good sunset day and try to get some light trails in it too. That’d look so awesome. Hopefully there will be more cars at that time 🙂

The camera settings for this image is F7.1 at 2 seconds with ISO 200 and my Sony A7II with my 16-35mm wide angle lens shot on a tripod 🙂

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Flip flopping between Washington and California images. I hope that’s ok. Even though I still have so many images to go through from California, I still get the urge to go out and shoot. Especially when we get snow like we did last week! It wasn’t much and to be honest it was kind of disappointing. It was pretty patchy and kind of weird. I think we just needed more. Somehow we ended up in a snow hole where everyone around us got snow and we barely got an inch 🙁

But I was still able to make it out with my friend, Paul. We walked all around the National Mall and I was trying to find some new, interesting compositions that you can only see in the snow. I love how snow changes a scene. For this image, I was all the way tucked into a little tree cove but I think the most interesting part of this image are the lights coming from the street. It sort of reminds me of morse code. Like the cars and street lights are saying, “more snow, more snow”.

My only wish for the rest of winter is that we get one really good day of snow and I’d be happy. Then it can all melt away and I will run with my arms wide open to welcome in spring. Cherry Blossoms, where you at?

My settings for this image is F8 at 1/5th of a second at ISO 1000 on my Sony A7II with my 16-35mm lens on a tripod. To be honest, I think I was shooting handheld for a little bit before I set my camera on the tripod. I must have forgotten to change the ISO so that’s the only reason why my ISO is so high. Oh well, it still works 🙂

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Throwback Thursday! This one was taken earlier this year a little bit after I took this image. I LOVE foggy mornings. Although it’s the same subject, taken around the same time, theres two totally different vibes. Mornings like these are so special, especially around the DC area because you never really think we get them. You know, you always associate fog to San Francisco or places like that. But here on the east coast, we can get some pretty awesome foggy mornings too! It’s my absolute favorite weather condition to shoot in. I think its so fun to see how it interacts with the monuments. For example, this was a crazy foggy day too and this was a 70 degree foggy christmas morning! It creates a totally new perspective on our environment and I love how it just minimizes everything.

If it’s lingering fog, I really like to take my time and walk around most of the monuments. What I’m looking out for are the shapes and lines that are peaking through the mist. This image was taken while I was walking along Kutz Bridge. It’s a great spot to go to during cherry blossom season or to take pictures in general. I was drawn to it because of the outlining of the trees and the little spurts of lights created by the street lights and cars. Theres just something so simple about it. I’m sure if I took this same exact composition on a regular sunny day, it would look totally different. There would be so much going on that you don’t really know where to focus your attention. At least for this foggy image, it’s obvious that its all about the trees and the reflection coming from the water.

Anyways, that was my little rant about fog. What about you? What’s your favorite weather to experience?