summer

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Happy Friday! I’m really looking forward to this weekend because I’ll be going to a place that I’ve been wanting to go to for a VERY long time. I’m talking years. I’ll tell you all more about it soon but be sure to follow along on my Instagram if you’re interested in knowing beforehand. It’s not far from the DC metro area, so we’ll just be there on Sunday evening. I’m so excited!

In the meantime, here’s an image I captured a couple of weeks ago at McKee Beshers Wildlife Management Area in Poolesville, Maryland. These sunflower fields are unfortunately gone for the season, but I heard Burnside Farms in Nokesville, Virginia may be looking good. I’ve personally never been to that one but have been to the McKee Beshers sunflower fields a whole bunch. What’s great about the sunflower field in Maryland is that there are multiple fields. So if one field hasn’t peaked, you could drive to the next field and hopefully get a different result.

This particular image was taken in the first field, right before they were about to peak. I love how all the sunflowers are facing the camera.

But this image is deceiving, they were actually taller than me. The tallest ones were at least 6ft. So easy to get lost in the fields. Lost in a good way though 🙂

Have a great weekend!

My camera settings for this image is f5.6 at 1/2000th sec and ISO 320 with my Sony A7II and 70-200mm

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We had a couple of thunderstorm warnings last week but for some reason, none of them really came to be. I’m still on the hunt to capture a lightning strike this summer so I tried my best to get out there to try to capture the weather. But when the actual rain didn’t happen, I was fortunate enough to still be able to at least capture this beautiful sunset.

I love how the colors in the sky are in line with the trees and it just looks like a band of color stretched across the entire image. I will be honest and say that I got rid of some of the people on the left-hand side. Just one small group of people because they were wearing really bright clothes and it was distracting to see them in the dark trees. I wanted to make sure that the focus was entirely on the Lincoln Memorial and the amazing sunset.

Hopefully, the storm warnings we have this week will actually come to be.

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My camera settings for this image is F16 at 1/4th sec and ISO 400 with my Sony A7II and 16-35mm wide-angle lens.

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I captured this image while I was on my way to photograph this image.

This image of the Lincoln Memorial was taken first and I was so surprised when I saw it on the LCD screen. I was walking towards the reflecting pool when I thought it may be cool to see some grass blades as tall as the Lincoln Memorial. So I put my camera on the ground, tilted it a little bit up and this is what I came out with.

What I didn’t realize was all the morning dew that would turn into these cool little bokeh textures in the grass and somehow turned this image to look magical. In order to capture it, I had to focus the image on just Lincoln Memorial. It’s a shame I almost forgot about it. To be honest, I was more excited about the duck capture than this one on the day I captured them. But I love the way that this image turned out. I also love that little hint of purple coming, which you can really see in the duck image.

Just goes to show you never know what you’ll find unless you try 🙂

My camera settings for this image is F6.3 at 1.6 sec and ISO 640 with my Sony A7II and 16-35mm wide-angle lens.

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The third best thing about summer- sunflower fields!

The first is obviously the beach, the second being fireworks, and then comes sunflowers. LOL.

But if you’re in the DC, Maryland, Virginia area, I highly recommend stopping by McKee Beshers Wildlife Management Area. There are rows and rows of sunflowers, at times it can feel endless. Plus they have multiple fields, so if one isn’t looking it’s best or too crowded, it’s really simple just to hop to the next field. But there aren’t really any signs for the fields so be sure to check out this map before you go.

On this visit, I decided to try to get a little bit closer to the sunflowers. Not necessarily macro shots like I have done in the past, but using one flower to frame the other. This particular flower caught my attention because I liked how some of the pedals were folded in. I thought I’d use the flower in the foreground to sort of fill in that spot.

But while I was out photographing the sunflowers last week, I was just reflecting on all the times I’ve photographed these summer flowers. It’s crazy to think how many times I’ve been to this sunflower fields. Check out this video from 8 years ago! Talk about a blast from the past:

Yes, I miss my long hair too.

Yes, I still feel like running through the fields every time I go. LOL

I definitely want to go back at least one more time this season to try to capture some more of these yellow beauties.

My camera settings for this image is F7.1 at 1/1000th second and ISO 320 with my Sony A7II and 70-200mm zoom.

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From the top of Altaire’s rooftop in Crystal City, Virginia is one of the best views of the Washington DC memorials I had ever seen. It’s rare to get such an elevated, unobstructed view. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, it took my breath away.

This image was taken as the sunset was starting to burn. I totally wasn’t expecting it because I didn’t think the clouds looked like the right “sunset clouds” but it was definitely a welcomed surprise! So I quickly tried to set up my shot while looking at the United States Air Force Memorial. It wasn’t quite working out since I had focused mainly on the memorial and the beautiful red sky wasn’t showing in the image. So I took a few steps back so I could at least get a little bit of the color. I loved the way this turned out. I love how the red in the sky matches the red in the back brake lights of the cars. I think if I had to do it all over again, I would make the exposure just a  little bit longer so the cars in the foreground were a little bit more blurred but I think that’s just me being nitpicky. Other than that, I think this turned out to be very cool.

Gotta love those summer sunsets 🙂

My camera settings for this image is F13 at 0.3 sec and ISO 125 with my Sony A7II and 100-400mm

 

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If I had to guess Sue’s favorite part of our 2017 road trip, it would either have been Santa Fe, New Mexico or the Saguaro National Park in Tucson, Arizona. Don’t get me wrong, I really enjoyed Saguaro National Park but while we were there, we were in the middle of a huge heat wave. I thought Arizona was hot in previous visits to the state, but it was so HOT when we were there. Even after sunset and the sun went down, it was still so humid and hot. I even remember hearing on the radio that mailboxes were melting. That’s HOT! Holy cow. And how many times can I say hot in a row? LOL

Since it was so humid and hot, we only spent an hour or so around sunset in the national park. The rest of the time was spent in our hotel’s outdoor pool. We wanted to go when the sun was lower and maybe a little bit cooler, but that didn’t make much difference but you better believe there was lots of ice cream afterwards. Out of all the places on our roadtrip, I hope to visit Tucson again sometime soon because I actually enjoyed the time while we were there. It seemed like a super cute city with so much to do and see. We just didn’t get enough time. I just remember waking up the next morning and wanting to get out of the heat wave as soon as possible. The next stop on our trip was Los Angeles and that was nowhere close to being as hot. So we made our way over and spent the rest of our time in California before flying back home.

My camera settings for this image is F3.5 at 1/320th sec at ISO 400 with my Sony A7II and 28-70mm lens.