united states capitol

All photos available for print and licensing >

It happened! OMG! I’m pretty sure it’s because I blogged about it last week, but I was finally able to capture a lightning strike this summer. I still can’t get over it.

I had been talking to my friend, Andy sporadically throughout the day through text message when I finally asked him if he wanted to meet up for sunset. He told me he was already meeting up a friend for sunset but if I wanted to join them, I was welcome to. So I crashed their party and invited another friend and ended up having such a great time.

The best part was that we did not even get wet! The storms were passing right in front of us and we definitely felt some of those lightning strikes, but no actual raindrops on us. It was perfect.

The sunset ended up being dramatic but I stayed about an hour after to try to get a more distinct lightning strike. You can definitely see lightning strikes a lot better when it’s dark out.

Holy cow I did not expect this one. It was like Thor’s hammer slammed straight down into the Capitol Reflecting Pool. I’m still so excited I was able to capture it.

Since I got one, I’m hooked. I can’t wait for another storm to happen so I can try to get even more lightning strikes. Maybe now that I’ve blogged about it again, it will happen again 🙂 Fingers crossed!

My camera settings for this image is F4 at 1/8th sec and ISO 2000 with my Sony A7II and 16-35mm wide-angle lens.

All photos available for print and licensing >

Hope you enjoyed the last two blog posts where I relieved some of my favorite moments of 2018. If you missed it, you can see them here and here. There were just so many images to choose from because I tend to like all my images LOL. but for some reason this one didn’t make the cut.

This evening at the US Capitol was pretty epic. There was barely any rain but the lightning strikes were going crazy. It was perfect. The only reason why it didn’t make the 2018 favorites just because I wasn’t able to capture the lightning strikes like how I’d hoped for. I was really hoping for a huge strike like this one I captured in 2016. Man, I think capturing that image has sort of made me a bit jaded from all the other lightning strikes I’ve been able to capture. Like this one is cool and all but… LOL.

But I do really like this image because of the composition. Those clouds were epic and I loved the way the sky turned from dark blue to purple when the lightning would hit. Just showing that little bit of of the US Capitol dome is all the information you need to know exactly where you’re standing. It was beautiful night and I was so lucky to even capture anything at all.

So let me know, were there images that you liked in 2018 that weren’t on my list? I’d be really interested in hearing your opinion.

Either way, I’m so looking forward to 2019! It’s going to be a fantastic year with hopefully a lot more photo opportunities like this one to capture that huge lightning strike I’ve been looking out for.

My camera settings for this image is F4 at 1/13th sec at ISO 400 with my Sony A7II and 16-35mm wide angle lens.

All photos available for print and licensing >

As you may know, I’ve been on the hunt for fall colors in the city and the US Capitol never disappoints. However sunrises can sometimes be disappointing. The night before, as I was getting ready for bed, I checked my weather apps. All signs pointed to a colorful sunrise but when I got up in the morning I knew it wasn’t going to happen. Usually when you get a colorful sunrise, you have to have clouds and there was not a cloud in the sky. So since I was up, I decided to make my way down to the Capitol anyway. I was a little discouraged because I had my hopes up and I really think that played a part of how my images turned out while I was on the east side of the Capitol. I didn’t really come out with anything that I really liked. I even stopped by Lower Senate Park but it was all closed for construction. As I was leaving, I felt like it must have been one of those days where I wasn’t going to get much. It’s ok because those days happen more often than I’d like to admit but then something magical happened.

I was on my way home and I just saw this gold glow coming from the street right ahead of me. It just happened to be this amazingly beautiful tree covered in yellow leaves and I had to pull over. Don’t tell anyone but the only spot available was for government officials only, but I was only going to be there for a second 😉 So glad I did because I love the way this turned out. Images like this is what makes me super excited for the seasonal change. So in the end, it all worked out. I really believe that if you come out with even one good image that the photo session is totally worth it.

My camera settings for this image is F6.3 at 1/1250sec and ISO 500 with my Sony A7II and 16-35mm wide angle lens.

All photos available for print and licensing >

From the other day when I was going through old photographs of the US Capitol, I ran across this one. This on the other hand, I do remember photographing. It was earlier this year, I don’t remember what season, but I do remember it being cold. I also remember that I was the only photographer out while there were severals runners all around me. Do you see that person in the blue? I think she kept on running by me to see what I was actually doing. She’s in several of my shots but decided to not really include her in the final image since I think the compass is the main focus here. I also remember just walking around the Capitol grounds and just having a great time listening to my earphones.

Sometimes I listen to music in my earphones but other times I’m listening to audiobooks. I just finished my latest earlier this week. It was Tiffany Haddish’s book, The Last Black Unicorn. It reminded me a lot of Kevin Hart’s book, I Can’t Make This Up: Life Lessons because it’s all about how Tiffany became a comedian. I love how she reads the book herself. I feel like it gives me a way better feeling of who she is in real life. I feel like if we met, I would be cracking up laughing the entire time.

The book is funny but I was not cracking up laughing the entire time. Tiffany has gone through some crazy stuff in her life that makes you realize how amazingly strong this woman is. She’s definietly a role model to someone who needs to look on the brighter side of things. A little warning: It does get a little raunchy at times but overall I’d recommend it to my friends if they’re looking for an interesting book to read/listen to.

If any of you have any other book recommendations, please let me know. If you’ve been following my blog for a while you’ll know that I read/listen to a lot of motivational, self improvement or biography type books. I love a good non-fiction story.

My camera settings for this image is F8 at 1/15 sec at ISO 500 with my Sony A7II and 16-35mm wide angle lens.

All photos available for print and licensing >

I’m not sure what has gotten into me lately, but I’ve been waking up so early. Like way before my alarm goes off to wake me up for sunrise, even early enough where I could scramble myself some eggs for breakfest and still be on time to watch the sun. Oh man. That’s early! It’s like I’m jet lagged…

But what else is there to do at 5 o’clock in the morning but go out and take pics, right?

Luckily we’ve been having some awesome sunrises around the Washington DC area. This particular morning wasn’t as colorful as I usually hope for but it was so moody. I’ll take it!

It rained over night and the steps to the United States Capitol was so reflective. You know me, I love a good puddle when I see one. So I was playing around with different angles and perspectives when I finally came across this one. Holy cow, I love how the trees look as big as the Capitol Building. One of my favorite things to do is to get down low and make whatever is in the foreground look bigger than what’s in the background. Its sort of a eye-mind trick thing but I think it looks super cool. And for some reason my eye keeps going down to the reflection and staring at the Statue of Freedom lookin’ like a squiggly line. It’s so interesting how that came out.

Don’t get me wrong though, I am not complaining about waking up early. I’m complaining about being super sleepy by 8pm every night. #grandmastatus So expect to see way more sunrise images from me soon 🙂 I’ve got a few lined up.

My camera settings for this image is F22 at 0.6 seconds and ISO 400 with my Sony A7II and 16-35mm wide angle lens.

All photos available for print and licensing >

Last week I said ‘goodbye’ to my friend, Navin. If you’ve been following my blog for a while, you’ll know that we’ll randomly meet up and shoot together. He was one of the first people I ever met in the DC photo community and it’s so crazy to think he won’t be here anymore. Our mutual friend, Joe threw him a little going away party and what do photographers do when they’re moving away? Obviously we get together and shoot one last sunset before heading off to get some drinks at a near by bar.

It was the perfect send off. All day we had crazy weather. I think I saw weather reports saying we had three tornados touch down in DC on that day. At some points it was even hailing. Luckily, when we met up the rain had stopped for a little bit. The clouds were racing above us and we were able to get some super moody shots. Then without any warning, it started to downpour. It wasn’t so bad because even through the downpour, there was still this amazing light that shined through the clouds that made everything illuminate and it was so beautiful.

This image was shot at F7.1 at 1/200th of a second ISO 400. Again, the clouds were pretty crazy and dark this day but I was super excited to get that one little clearing above the dome. Its my favorite part of this image because it looks like a little halo over the United States Capitol Building.

Its always fun shooting with people who have the same interests in photography as you. It was just a bonus that you ended up being a cool person as well. Best of luck in the Bay Area, Navin! Come back and visit and we’ll shoot again 🙂