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The last image I took at this sunset and night workshop was of my friend, Andy. He was smart enough to bring a flashlight with him and this image actually took a couple of tries.

Considering the fact that we were there with about 12 other photographers, everyone at different skill levels, it was hard to capture this image. We were all there trying to take night shots with Jimmy and Waldnilso but we weren’t sure if we were able to take some of our own. So as people were readjusting their focal points and things, Andy would run quickly to the George Washington’s bust and light it up in time for his own self-timer and he was kind enough to make sure I got the shot too.

But with all these attempts, the one at the very end, when everyone else was packing up,  turned out the best. And if you look closely enough, I even captured a shooting star! Which by the way, there were so many shooting stars that night! So fun!

If you want to check out Andy’s version of this image, click here. It’s awesome. He also made a youtube video about our experience that you can watch here.

My camera settings for this image is F4 at 8 seconds and ISO 160 with my Sony A7II and 16-35mm wide-angle zoom.

That guy can stand very still for so long. LOL.

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So the reason why I recommend going to the sunset and night tour with John at the Presidents Heads is for two reasons. 1: You can’t beat the sunset light. It’s the second-best time of day to shoot plus the blue hour is perfect at this location. 2: The night photography is ah-mazing and they don’t hold anything back.

In order to do it all, John had some help from Jimmy Powell to pull out all his different lighting tricks. You should have seen it. He had a whole wagon full of different color flashlights, pixel sticks, steel wool, EVERYTHING. It was awesome. When the sun started to fall and everyone was done taking their blue hour images, we all stood together in a group with our tripods. John and Jimmy made sure everyone had a good understanding of nighttime exposure, everything was working with everyone’s tripods and discussing how to focus our images to make sure the presidents’ heads appear sharp in our images.

This was my first time ever photographing steel wool and it was exciting. If I remember correctly, Jimmy had steel wool shoved inside a kitchen whisk which was then attached to a piece of string and just twirled it around. If you’ve seen images like this before, you know it can be dramatic and in my opinion a lot to look at.

Here’s an example of steel wool being spun from behind President Jackson’s head.

So when I just created a shorter exposure for steel wool, I really liked how it came out. It’s so simple and it almost looks like the picture is still loading. LOL.

My camera settings for the “loading” image is F5.0 at 4 seconds and ISO 320 with my Sony A7II and 16-35mm wide-angle lens.

My camera settings for the wool spun behind President Jackson is F5 and 2 seconds and ISO 320 with my Sony A7II and 16-35mm wide-angle lens.

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As mentioned a few weeks ago, I went somewhere that I’ve been wanting to go to for FOREVER! The President Heads in Williamsburg, Virginia! I’ve been seeing images of these busts for years but never had the opportunity to visit.

Actually, I take that back. About 2 years ago, Andrew, Frankie and I actually drove down to Williamsburg for the weekend and tried to look for them. At that time, the address was very vague and every time I tried googling them, the address would lead us to the middle of nowhere. We would drive back and forth on the highway and just around the general vicinity of Croaker, VA but never found it. We ended up giving up and just spent the weekend hanging out. At that point, I was sure I wouldn’t see them.

But it wasn’t until my friend, Jeremy posted images from the President Head last month and said that he was on a photo tour that really sparked my interest in them again. So in case you’re interested in seeing them, click here for the event details. We signed up for the sunset and night tour which I’d highly recommend.

Since I’ll be in Oregon this whole week, I figured I’d post images from this event this entire week. Hope you don’t mind 🙂

My camera settings for this image is F5 at 1/13th sec and ISO 800 with my Sony A7II and 16-35mm wide-angle lens.

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Over the weekend, I had the best time spending a day on the lake with my cousins. We went wake surfing at Lake Anna and it was a blast. I have gone one time before but wasn’t able to capture as many images as I would have liked.

This time, I came prepared with memory cards and great weather. I sat on the back of the boat for most of the day. I loved getting that low angle perspective to make the water and waves look huge. At the end of the day, I came out with over 1,000 images. Obviously, I could have shared some of the really good images of my cousins doing jumps and cool tricks on the board but I think the more entertaining ones are these. The ones of them falling. HAHAHAHA.

Too bad I was the one taking the pics or else I could have added an image into this collage. *sarcasm* hehe

I know it may make some people nervous to take pictures on the back of the boat. Especially with the water splashing on to the camera and lens but I really had no issues at all except for the occasional water smudge. In that case, I would just wipe off my lens with my shirt and kept on clicking away. In the future, I will know to keep a lens cloth close by.

Can’t wait for more summer fun. Thanks again for the fun day, fam!

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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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We arrived at the rooftop about 30 minutes before sunset. It turned out to be an amazing sunset which I’ll share more images from later, but what I was really looking forward to was the night time views. I knew that once the city lit up a bit, the car trails were going to be so fun to capture. In particular, the ones leading straight to the Thomas Jefferson Memorial. The road looks like it’s driving right into it.

I had never seen a view like this before. I only wish the other side of 395 going towards the city wasn’t blocked off so there can be red lights going on on the other side. Oh well.

But I purposely made my shutter time a little bit shorter. I envisioned little streaks of light rather than the long drag. Sometimes I think those lines can be distracting from the total image. I personally think these shorter lines are more interesting because you can see exactly how many cars are actually in the image without a lot of chaos. Just personal preference I guess.

My camera settings for this image is F5.6 and 0.8 seconds with my Sony A7II and 100-400mm ultra zoom lens. Thanks again to my friend, Larry who let me borrow his lens for this shot. The compression is unreal at 400mm! This was shot at 376mm.