tidal basin

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This image was taken a week ago at the DCTography photo walk at sunset. It was one of the only images I was able to capture because I was having too much fun catching up with friends to actually take pictures. LOL.

It looks deceiving but the day was actually really nice – weatherwise. It had snowed all day the day before but the day of our walk felt like summer compared to the cold weather we had during the week prior. I think it worked out great because the icey Tidal Basin made for some really cool images plus the sunset itself was fantastic!

But this image captures one of my favorite trees at the Tidal Basin. I photograph it every year, but I don’t think I’ve ever put one of the images on the blog until now. This one tree is special. I think it got hit by a lightning bolt or something like that years ago. Please correct me if I’m wrong. But if you compared it to the other trees around the Basin, it doesn’t even look like it should still be alive because it’s so small. But every year it sprouts the beautiful cherry blossoms on it’s little branches and it makes me so happy that it’s still doing so well.

To be honest, I usually wouldn’t post something like this. My preference is to have clean, untouched snow but there was something about all the footprints that are circling this tree that makes me feel like I’m not the only one who loves it. Other people must be walking around it admiring it from every angle just like me. I also like how you can barely tell where the sidewalk ends and where the water begins just because there’s that much snow on the ground.

My camera settings for this image is F8 at 1/30th sec ISO 1000 with my Canon 5D Mark II and 70-200mm zoom.

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After coming home from a long trip to Southern California, I knew one of the first places that I wanted to go back to take pictures was the Tidal Basin. I love it and have captured some of my favorite images from there. I personally feel like I’m back when I’m walking around the Tidal Basin and ducking my head under the low hanging cherry blossom tree branches. Luckily while we were gone, Washingtonians experienced a good amount of snow. I’m all for snow but I don’t like how it gets so messy while it melts. This time it worked to my advantage because it actually created some great puddles in places that there aren’t usually reflections.

The whole mood of this image perfectly describes what it was like being there. It was cold and kind of wet. I especially like how that little piece of ice in the foreground. But trying to get myself back on east coast was a bit of a challenge. I basically forced myself out of bed but once I was out, I was happy… and cold.

Also sorry for the last minute notice but if you’re around the Washington DC area this weekend and don’t have plans on Saturday, come out to the tidal basin for sunset. At 4:30p, I’ll be leading a free photowalk with DCTography starting at the Martin Luther King Jr memorial and then ending the walk at the Jefferson Memorial. It will be a great time and a great way to meet other photographers in the area. I’ll be talking about light and trying to capture it as we walk and the sun dips below the horizon. Hope to see you there 🙂

My camera settings for this image is F8 at 1/4th sec at ISO 800 with my Sony A7II and 16-35mm wide angle lens.

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This image was captured almost a year ago to the day. It’s crazy because I can still remember it like it was yesterday and looking at it brings back so many memories.

I had been messaging with my friend, Birch, about something random. I don’t think it even had anything to do with photography when she finally said that she had just got into the city and it was layered with fog. Luckily I had no plans that Sunday morning so I was able to quickly get ready and meet up with her. We spent the next couple of hours just talking and taking pictures. It was the best.

Everything felt so surreal about this photowalk. The fog made it feel like we were walking through a dreamland but it was also eerily deserted. For being the National Mall on a weekend, there was no one out! Usually you would see people walking around enjoying the monuments but there was something about the fog and very light rain that must have deterred people from coming. I was not complaining though. It  made for amazing images and it was so awesome not having to worry about being in other people’s way. Parking was easy smeasy too!

I really hope that after we’re done with this subzero cold front and wind that Washington DC is going through now that we will get another day like this again. It really was magical. But until then I hope this image of fog warms your day up just a little (as I sit here at my desk still wearing my winter jacket and two layers of pants)… books flight to Florida. JK. LOL.

My camera settings for this image is F4 at 1/1000th sec at ISO 320 with my Sony A7II and 16-35mm wide angle lens.

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Even in the middle of January, I’m already starting to get questions about cherry blossoms season in spring. Actually, I started receiving them in December! Props to all of you early planners out there who want to make sure they capture my favorite time in Washington DC. Seriously, cherry blossom season is the best time to be in the Capital. I don’t blame you.

Even with all my experience shooting the blossoms, it’s still very difficult to predict when they’ll actually bloom. I usually say beginning of April will be your best bet, but I’ve seen them as early as late March and as late as mid April. They don’t last too long either. From what I’ve seen a week to a week and a half tops. I remember one year we may have only had 3 good days with the flowers before they all fell off due to rain we got. They’re fragile flowers so don’t be disappointed if you planned so much to see them and you don’t. They honestly really hard to plan for.

But for those of you wondering, I created this guide. Hope this helps. I try my best to update it every year and plan on doing so this year when we’re closer to the dates. I like to update it with what NPS has forecasted as peak bloom, new changes and developments, etc.

I have also dedicated a whole chapter in Snap DC about photographing the cherry blossoms. You can never have too much cherry blossom info, am I right? So if those two resources don’t help, let me know and I’ll try my best to answer any questions you may have.

My camera settings for this image is F8 at 1/25th sec at ISO 400 with my Sony A7II and 16-35mm wide angle lens. 

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HAPPY NEW YEAR!

2019! WOW. Not to total ignore 2019 but everytime I think 2019, I can’t help but think 2020 is just around the corner and that is just bananas to me. Like can you imagine people saying that they were born in 2020? The number is just crazy to me. P.S. Where are the flying cars at?

Anyways…

Much like my top travel images of 2018, I like to reminisce and look back on my favorite images from Washington DC from the past year. It makes me feel so fortunate to live in the Nation’s Capital. I love being able to hop in my car and within minutes be among some of the most recognizable and loved landmarks in the world. I feel extremely blessed and look forward to another year of capturing more images.

Click on each image to read the original blog post but I’ll try to add some additional light on these images now that I’ve sat on them for a while. In no particular order except chronological, here are my favorite images of 2018.

fog, tidal basin, winter, weather, umbrella, stranger, candid, washington dc, national mall, moody, cherry blossom trees, trunk, photowalk,

This day was definietly a highlight of the winter season. I remember we had some crazy foggy mornings but on this particular day, the fog happened in the middle of the day. Oh yea, it was raining too. Luckily, it was on a Sunday and I didn’t have much else going on. So what better way than to walk around the National Mall than with my friend, Birch. I still love how everything lines up in this image, even the little reflection you see in the puddle behind the lady is so interesting to see.

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So after all the color burned off, I was walking back to my car when I noticed that the Martin Luther King Jr memorial was looking especially glow-y. I kind of have this habit of not putting my camera away right away but it’s for moments like this. I thought I was done shooting for the morning but realized that the sun had risen enough that it was casting it’s early morning light on the memorial making it an orange-yellow color. I love when that happens. I tried several different angles but loved this one when I walked to the side to find the Washington Monument and the Martin Luther King Jr memorial lineup with each other. I intentionally photographed this making it look like the two memorials were touching.

In other news, it’s only Tuesday and I’m already looking forward to the weekend. Andrew and I will be visiting New York for a quick birthday getaway. His birthday, not mine. It seems like we take trips to New York several times a year but this year has been so crazy that this is going to be my first time all year. I love that city and really looking forward to just walking around, taking pics and eating delicious food. If you have any NYC recommendations, let me know! We always try to do different things each trip so any tips would be extremely helpful.

Andrew did say that we can go to B&H though. I can’t wait. For some reason I’ve never been but I always had the impression that they aren’t open on the weekends. Since we usually just go for the weekends I never even bothered. Turns out they’re just not opened on Saturdays, so guess what we’re doing Sunday 🙂

My camera settings for this image is F6.3 at 1/125th sec and ISO 500 with my Sony A7II and 70-200mm handheld.