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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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A little throwback to our trip to Norway earlier this year.

One of the highlights of the trip was going up to the top of Mt. Fløyen in Bergen. I loved riding the funicular to the top because it seemed like it would have been a pretty steep hike up. The views were nice but for the way down, Andrew and I decided to just do it on our own and walk it. I’m glad we did it that way because we were able to capture the things that we weren’t able to photograph on the way up. Plus it’s a whole lot easier going down then up.

So as we started our descent, Andrew and I were talking about how glad we were to be in Norway. Then I just stopped in my tracks. I saw this scene and knew it was going to make an amazing photograph but it needed a person in it. I asked Andrew if he could stand in the middle and he walked over without any hesitation. It was a little awkward because the city itself is so quiet while I’m over here trying to yell posing directions to him. Sign language worked a bit, but next time I know to pack the walkie talkies. LOL just joking. I don’t actually have walkie talkies and I’m sure Andrew would not like having to carry one, on top of all my other camera equipment. LOL.

The rest of the hike down was easy with a lot of switchbacks making it even easier. So if you ever find yourself in Bergen, I’d highly recommend just buying a ticket to go up and making the trek down.

My camera settings for this image is F5.0 at 1/40 sec and ISO 2000 with my Sony A7II and 16-35mm wide angle lens.

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Now that I’ve been waking up early for years and basically track the weather every single day, I have kinda given myself the title of junior meteorologist 🙂 LOL. Meaning, I can look at a weather report and look up in the sky at the clouds and get a good idea of what the weather is going to be like. So over the weekend we had pretty cool, mild weather with lots of clouds but I kept on hearing reports that the weather was going to warm up. So with the cold air mixing with the warmer air, I knew there was going to be fog.

And I was right! I love when that happens. I’ve been wanting this fog for a while now, spending almost every morning that I go out by the reflecting pool because I had envisioned some shots that I wanted to take. So glad it finally happened. The field to the right of the reflecting pool is a great place to capture fog but I especially like how it lingers into the trees. With Washington DC being such an active city, I knew having runners through the fog would look pretty cool. I had my 70-200mm on for every one of these shots and patiently waited for people to run/walk past. I tried my best to capture people wearing more colorful clothing but much like me, a lot of people wear black.

The last two images were taken after the sun had come up. I thought it was really interesting with the warm tones mixing in with the fog. It sort of gave off that halloween vibe. LOL

Well, I hope you all enjoyed the images and have a great weekend! I’m off to Thanksgiving number 2 today with hopefully a lot of leftovers <3

 

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I didn’t exactly believe this the first time I saw it, but Capital Weather Gang was right. It’s look like it’s going to be a snowier winter than normal. Well, at least that what it seemed like last week because we got snow. In November.

I woke up for sunrise Thursday morning and looked out the window and barely saw anything. So I went back to bed thinking that we probably got as much as we were going to because we never get snow in November. If anything, it usually starts in January but holy cow. I fell asleep for about another hour and when I woke up the sidewalk, grass, roads, everything was covered. I was so excited.

I love snow.

So I got up, ate breakfast, walked Frankie and was ready to head out the door. I decided to go to the tidal basin because I love photographing the snow with white memorials. I love the monochromatic look. Even when it’s full on color, it still looks black and white 🙂 But since it was fall and the leaves were changing, I thought it would be interesting to photograph the contrast.

The image above was taken from across the street at the George Mason Memorial. I love it because it still had some flowers and color. It was really the look I was going for to photograph the snow with fall colors.

This was taken on my way towards the Jefferson Memorial. I love how delicate the snow looks on the bushes. Oh, have I mentioned that I love snow on greenery too? Totally reminds me of Christmas.

Thomas Jefferson and I both love a good reflection.

On my way back to the car I decided to check out the cherry blossom trees. Most of the leaves are gone and I can’t imagine the snow making it that much better.

So not to jinx anything, but crossing my fingers for more snow this year!

 

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Is it me or did Thanksgiving creep up on you too? I can’t believe it’s next week! In the past I would have already known what dishes I’m making but this year I have no clue. I have not looked at pinterest once! I need to get on that this weekend.

But in the meantime I have been going through some of the images I’ve taken recently of the fall colors. It was like I spent a week straight photographing different places around the Washington DC area to capture the color but didn’t have time to go through ALL the images. But this trip to Shenandoah National Park was definietly a highlight.

Shenandoah National Park isn’t exactly in the Washington area but it’s a great place to escape to when you need a little time with nature. On this trip I went with my friend, Larry and we were both pleasantly surprised by the sunrise color. In the past, we haven’t had much luck with color in the park. Mostly a lot of cloudy, foggy days.  So as soon as I saw that color come out, I was super excited to switch to my 16-35mm wide angle to try to capture as much of the sky as I could. I don’t know if you’ve noticed or not but lately, I’ve been really liking to have a blurry foreground element and have something in the mid-ground in focus. That is exactly what I was trying to do here with the huge rocks that I was standing on in order to capture this image. What do you think?

My camera settings for this image is F4.5 at 1/40th sec at ISO 1250 with my 16-35mm and Larry let me borrow his Sony A7III for the day.

And if you have any Thanksgiving recipe suggestions let me know! Something on the easy side 🙂

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Now on to a totally different fall foliage vibe is this image I captured on Halloween morning. My friend, Larry and I met up and made our way to Great Falls Park. PRAISE HANDS EMOJI that the gate was open and we were able to get in around sunrise time. But there was not much of a sunrise. It was a really foggy morning at the park which was kind of appropriate considering the day. The crazy part was that it was so foggy by the water but when you looked to the other side of the park it was blue skies.

Since it was so foggy, Larry and I ended up walking to the last overlook first and decided to work our way back to the front as the morning went on. This image was taken as we were leaving that last overlook and saw two deers just hanging out beside the start of the River Trail. We tried our best to be as stealth as possible but I think it was our camera shutters that gave us away to the deer. That or it could have been me trying to push the limits and move closer and closer to the deer. Either way, the deer were not as friendly as we would have liked. So here’s a shot of one of the deer running away from me. Deer butt is better than no deer, am I right? LOL

My favorite part about this image is the framing. I love how the leaves on the tree are almost about to touch the deer in the background. Even that little branch that’s hanging down directly in the middle of the two tree trunks is a happy accident that I did not even notice until I brought this image up on the computer.

Speaking of happy accidents, I was Bob Ross for Halloween. LOL. But I don’t know how great it was because I scared my 3 year old nephew as soon as he saw me. I think it may have been the facial hair. He was so hesitant to come near at any point of the night. When I asked him to share candy with me, he was more than willing to but basically just threw it at me from a safe distance. HAHA. What did you dress up as?

My camera settings for this image is F4 at 1/8th sec and ISO 800 with my Sony A7II and 70-200mm ultra zoom lens.