trees

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Just another image from walking around downtown Chicago. For some reason, I ended up next to this parking garage several times. It wasn’t intentional but I thought it was such a cool wall. So the first day we were walking around, kinda close to sunset time and I noticed this row of trees. I loved the way the light was hitting it so I asked Andrew if we could stop to wait for someone to walk past. I don’t think he knew what I was talking about because he was looking around to see what I was seeing but we stopped immediately.

It wasn’t long before this lady with a red jacket walked by. It was perfect. I love that color pop and how it adds so much scale to the trees and wall. It really is scenes like this that makes me excited about street photography. It may seem so simple, but the timing seemed perfect.

As soon as I captured this, we started walking again to our final destination that night, Lou Malnati’s pizzeria. OMG so good!

On another note, I’ll be in Richmond, Virginia this weekend and I’m really looking forward to it. If you didn’t know, I graduated from Virginia Commonwealth University with a BFA a longggggg time ago and I haven’t been back to the capital city since. I know it’s changed a lot and am really looking forward to seeing all the changes. I definietly want to go check out the campus and all the apartments I used to live in just to see if any of those have changed. It’s going to be crazy and a trip down memory lane FOR SURE!

My camera settings for this image is F6.3 at 1/200th sec and ISO 1000 with my Sony A7II and 70-200mm zoom lens.

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Taken just a couple of minutes after this image, I was so grateful for the rain. It wasn’t heavy rain that made you want to run back to your car. It was just enough rain to make the petals fall a little from the trees but also create these amazing puddles.

On a typical sun shiny day, it’s not surprising to see one or two puddles at the Tidal Basin. But on a day like last Friday, there were puddles almost every corner you turned. Although they aren’t great for the cherry blossom trees, they are really cool to create these reflection shots. #savethetidalbasin. The other great thing about the rain is that they scare away a lot of potential visitors. For a moment there, I thought I had the whole Tidal Basin to myself! I was about to start blasting music from my phone before I saw a group of runners run past me. I should have brought my ear phones.

But I’m glad I got a few minutes alone with this puddle. I had never seen one form around this area so I took advantage of the opportunity and shot a couple of shots.

Pro tip: It’s said to say but everytime you visit the Tidal Basin, you should wear waterproof boots. That’s the only way you won’t can really avoid getting wet but still get puddle shots like this.

In case you were wondering, I was at the Basin again yesterday. It looks like a majority of the trees have lost a significant amount of petals over the weekend. They’re still beautiful and worth the visit if you still haven’t been this year. It just won’t be as pink and fluffy.

My camera settings for this image is F7.1 at 1/125th sec and ISO 1000 with my Sony A7II and 16-35mm wide angle lens.

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It’s official. I’ve officially caught spring fever and over the cold winter weather. You can now bring on the warmer temps and longer days. I’m ready! But in case you missed it, I’ve updated my cherry blossom guide with everything you need to know about photographing the beautiful flowers. From my favorite trees at the Tidal Basin to other places where you can catch the flowers blooming around the city. It’s all there. And of course, if you have any other questions about the cherry blossoms, please let me know in the comments. I’ll try my best to answer them.

But while I’m actually waiting for my spring dreams to come true, I figured I may as well load up on all the winter snow images I have while they’re still relevant. LOL. Things like this is why people always think I think ahead.

Anyways, this image was taken during our biggest snowfall of the year. It’s not really saying much since we didn’t get THAT much accumulation this season but it was still fun to capture. Like I said in my previous blog, I ended up taking the metro into the city and ended my day at the Smithsonian stop. This image was captured closer to the final destination but there was something that compelled me to turn around and take one last look at the Washington Monument when I saw this scene. I just loved how the trees were flanking and framing the obelisk. But I think my favorite part is looking at the very bottom of he image and seeing all the details. I don’t know why but I think it’s because those American flags and light posts are usually captured to be larger than life but when you see them in reference to the trees, they look so tiny. Definitely a new way of looking at these “everyday” things.

My camera settings for this image is F7.1 at 1/1600th sec and ISO 800 with my Sony A7II and 70-200mm zoom.

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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