This past weekend I am glad I was able to go out and capture the super snow moon at sunrise (moonset) with my friend Zack and a few others. Zack picked a great location at the Tidal Basin so that we can see the moon with the Rosslyn, Virginia skyline. To my surprise, we had a great view of the Martin Luther King Jr Memorial as well.
A clear sky made for a great showing of the moon but I love how you can see some of that early morning sunrise glow on the buildings to make them shine a bit. I’m not going to lie though, even with all that sun shining down on us, it was cold. Like, wear 3 pairs of pants cold. But it was worth it because I had a great time with my friends.
Here’s another view of the moon when it was a little bit higher in the sky. I was looking for an interesting foreground so I used my friend, Andy to sort of give a little context as to what it was like seeing it in person.
The snow moon setting over Rosslyn, VA as seen from Washington DC
My camera settings for the Rosslyn image are F9 at 1.320th sec and ISO 500. The camera settings for Andy’s image are F9 at 1/16th sec and ISO 640. Both captured with my Sony A7II and 70-200mm.
It seems like for the majority of February we’ve been getting a lot of rain and cloudy days.
Why can’t it just be snow?
I captured this image on the first (and I hope not only) snow day we’ve had this season so far. After I flew my drone for a bit, I ended up driving around to see if I could find some more interesting things to capture. That’s when I stumbled onto the Manassas National Battlefield’s Stone Bridge Trail. I had never seen or heard of it before, but I just saw some snowplows in the parking lot so I figured that it wouldn’t hurt to check it out. At least I knew I could park easily 🙂
Luckily the trail was mostly paved and it was a very easy walk. I love it when trees are covered in snow. I know I was smiling the whole time I was walking along this path.
My camera settings for this image are F7.1 at 1/320th sec and ISO 320 with my Sony A7II and 70-200mm zoom lens .
We’re forecasted to get some snow this weekend! I’m not going to be a naysayer this time and say it won’t happen because I really hope it does! This time I’m hoping for a significant amount of snow. LOL. *crosses fingers for manifestation*
Throwback to last week when it did snow. It was only a little bit and it didn’t even stick for more than 24 hours but I’m so glad it at least stayed for a beautiful sunrise. I was in Manassas, Virginia. I really wanted to fly my drone for a bit to see what I could capture. But when I saw the pinks in the sky start to show up, my drone started running out of battery. It was ok because I just landed it for a little bit and pulled out my Sony camera to shoot some landscape images. After capturing a few images with my regular camera, I changed the battery on my drone and went straight back up. In the end, it all worked out.
My camera settings for this image are F7.1 at 1/500th sec and ISO 800 with my Sony A7II and 70-200mm zoom lens.
After my drone batteries died, I hopped back in my car and started driving around a bit to see if I could find more spots to pull over and take pictures. Unfortunately, it was still early in the morning and there weren’t a lot of places where the roads had been cleared.
Fortunately, as I was about to give up and U turn it back home, I found a couple of these guys. It reminded me of being in Iceland. While we were visiting, we would always pull over all the time to check out the horses but in Iceland, they are wild. This guy obviously belonged to people and it seemed like he was used to visitors. As soon as I stood in front of their fence, a couple of horses spotted me and started walking over. They looked like they wanted some treats, unfortunately, I had none or else I would have given all my treats to them.
I love the way this portrait turned out. So unexpected but so fun to capture.
My camera settings for this image are F7.1 at 1/800th sec and ISO 320 with my Sony A7II and 70-200mm.
I knew we were going to get snow for almost a week but I didn’t think much of it. Every time I checked the weather, it said the high was going to be in the 40’s so I figured if we did get any kind of snow, it wouldn’t stick or it would just end up becoming rain. I was wrong.
When it actually started to snow on Tuesday afternoon, it really came down. I was shocked when it was sticking to the grass and even created some slush on the roads. So I tried my best to capture it all on Tuesday around my neighborhood, but I wasn’t really happy with anything I captured. I went to sleep hoping the night air would be cold enough to keep the snow on the trees.
So I woke up Wednesday morning, packed up my drone and camera gear, and crossed my fingers that there would still be snow a little further out west in Virginia. I was right! I was so excited to fly, especially when the sun started to come up. The winter glow really came alive on the snow-covered trees and I couldn’t help but smile (even if I was by myself, standing in the shivering cold). I was getting wind warnings the entire time I was flying, but I’m so glad I pushed it a little bit further to capture this.
I really hope we get more snow later on in the season ❄️❄️❄️
My camera settings for this image are F2.2 and 1/640th sec and ISO 400 with my DJI Mavic Pro
I hope you all had a happy and safe night last night. 2019 was a great year for me and my travel bucket list. I am so lucky to have been able to travel to new places, destinations to see family I hadn’t seen in years and revisit some places I’ve been to in the past and relive some beautiful memories. I’m already thinking about all the places I want to go to in the new year. HAHA
Similar to yesterday’s post about my favorite images from Washington DC, these are my personal favorite images I’ve taken on my travels. They are in no special order but chronological. And I added a few more comments about each of the images now. Feel free to click on each of the images to see my original blog post.
For the past two years, Andrew and I had celebrated the New Year in San Diego, California. Unfortunately, that didn’t happen this year but I really hope to visit Southern California sometime later this year. One of my favorite parts about visiting is being able to fly my drone whenever I want. By the end of this trip, I was flying my drone so much more than taking pictures with my actual camera. One of the best parts is being able to fly over places that would be difficult to see. For example, this image is of my cousin getting ready to get some morning surf in.
When I was young, my mom would take me to visit Las Vegas every summer. I always loved visiting because I always thought that her sister, my aunt, lived in the coolest city in the world. At that time, Las Vegas was a lot more family-friendly, but it’s just as fun visiting now as an adult. So when we visited in February it was around the time of Chinese New Year. It was pretty cool to see how each of the casinos celebrated the holiday. This was taken outside the Bellagio hotel. I don’t remember if this was a water fixture, fountain or what, but it was just an open area of water that had a perfect reflection of the red lanterns. Another highlight of that trip? Visiting the Neon Museum for the first time.
I mentioned this before, but I thought our trip to Chicago was very successful from a photography standpoint (and pizza standpoint too). I came back from that trip with so many images I loved. So many more than what I’ve included in this travel photography post because I wanted to limit myself and only put my absolute favorites. But this image of Cloud Gate is definitely on the top. I absolutely love that glow that’s coming from the sun rising and hitting the bottom of the sculpture. Plus that lady standing in the middle is perfect.
As far as Chicago city photography, I went on the trip knowing that parking garages are a great place to go to get some nice vantage points. For this particular spot, people are usually facing to the right to photograph some L trains from above. But I thought the view on the left was really interesting as well. I really liked how all the light posts lined up. So I made it a point to look in both directions while I was taking pictures from this garage. Luckily, I turned my head at the right moment to see these pedestrians walking almost in the same pattern as the light posts, all wearing dark colors. This moment could have not been planned more perfectly.
3 days in Turks and Caicos was not enough. I spent most of the days relaxing under a beach umbrella and it was amazing. I love the calming sounds of the water and ocean breeze. UGH thinking about it now makes me really miss it since it’s so cold here on the east coast right now. At least I have these images to remind me just how beautiful the world is. I captured this image in the morning time. I try to be considerate of other people’s feelings towards drones so I knew if I had it out later in the day, there would be more chances of people not liking it on the beach. So in crowded places, I try to fly as early in the day as possible. But I just love the contrast of the blue water and pink umbrellas in this image. The shadows of the palm trees and people walking past were not expected but I think really adds to the image.
I still can’t believe how many cameras I had with me on this trip. For such a short trip, I had 5 cameras, if you include my iPhone. At any given moment, I had at least two cameras with me. So this image was taken with my GoPro. I love that little camera, especially for underwater photography. You can get so creative with all the different mounts. So I bought this FiftyFifty Dome specifically for this trip but the secret for me for capturing this image was putting the camera on timelapse mode and selecting the best one from the entire series. I’d love to do more images like this next time I’m at a beach.
The Presidents Heads in Croaker, Virginia has been on my list to visit forever. I actually have been wanting to go to this abandoned field for some time that this was actually my second attempt ongoing. The first time didn’t work out. But it’s ok because this second trip made it all worth it. I loved going there with my photography friends and capturing the Presidents Heads at sunset and night time. It made the whole experience so much more memorable. PS. I also heard they’re filming an episode of Walking Dead here soon. I’ve stopped watching the series but I will definitely be on the lookout for that episode. That’s going to be so cool.
My very first time visiting Oregon was amazing. I loved, loved, loved the coast and I can’t wait to go back again. And I was super happy when I found this framing. It was taken at Ecola State Park around sunrise time. I had to step back a little bit to find it and I believe this was one of the last images I captured from this viewpoint. I also think that the memory of showing this image to my mom and her saying that she liked this image because it reminded her of a Chinese watercolor painting also makes me like this image even more.
On our third morning along the coast, Andrew, Frankie and I woke up and went for a walk on the beach. This was actually taken on my birthday, so it makes it even more special. But I decided to take my drone out and fly it for a bit. I had every intention of capturing the haystack and ocean but wasn’t really happy with what I was getting. When I was about to land the drone, I flew it above us and saw all the long shadows the sun was creating. I loved the way it turned out, especially with the lines on the beach and how simple everything is. Its one of those images that is probably more sentimental than anything else. And if you’re wondering about the 4th shadow, that’s my camera bag. LOL.
On a last-minute road trip, my friend Sue and I decided to visit Falling Water in Pennsylvania. We booked an Airbnb in a town that was close by and had a great time visiting the surrounding areas. If you know me, I’m an early bird. My internal alarm clock woke me up super early. Like 30 minutes before my alarm went off, so I decided to take advantage of the early morning and tried to find somewhere to take pictures. I had planned to go to a waterfall, but I didn’t make it because this morning fog was distracting me. I found myself pulling over every 10-15 minutes taking pictures. Unfortunately, I left my drone in the Airbnb or else that would have made for some EPIC foggy shots.
Since we’re about a 4-hour drive to New York, I try to make it a point to visit at least once a year. This time we visited, I went to my very first photo expo, PhotoPlus. The expo was very impressive and a little overwhelming. Regardless, being in the city is always a good time. On our last day in New York, it rained a lot. But that didn’t stop us from getting our last meal in the city, soup dumplings. Luckily, Chinatown was amazing for these rainy day vibes. I loved how everyone was carrying around an umbrella and didn’t seem to mind the bad weather.
Is it me or is Central Park hard to photograph? Whenever I think of the park, I always think of how big and crowded it is. It’s a little overwhelming and intimidating if you ask me. So I was really happy with the way this image turned out. A little moment of peace with some Candian Geese. That rhymed. But my favorite part about the image is the framing and the yellow leaves around the bottom of the image. It just creates so much more depth that I think is needed in this image. I also think of Home Alone 2 when I think of Central Park, but that’s a different story. LOL.
The streets of Taipei are crowded! Even waking up before sunrise, you’ll always find people on the streets. It’s pretty crazy how noisy it can get, not necessarily from cars honking but just all the different types of cars engines on the road. From trucks to cars to scooters, you really gotta watch out while walking the streets. But I took full advantage of a busy street in Taipei and waited for this moment to happen. I saw this lady standing on the corner of a crosswalk, right by the taxis. I knew if I waited long enough, some taxis would cross in front of me and create this intersection of yellow. What I didn’t notice while I was capturing the moment was all the yellow in the signs too. I love it when things like this just work out!
Right before my trip to Taiwan, I got my first prime lens! I almost immediately fell in love and probably had that lens on my camera about 70% of the time I was traveling. I can’t even describe how it simplifies street photography and finding moments like this is so much easier to capture. There were a lot of images that I captured with that lens, but this one is probably one that sticks out the most because I just love that slice of light coming from the corner of the image.
I grew up visiting Taiwan. As I’ve gotten older, the visits have become less frequent but each time I go, I am reminded of so many memories while visiting in the past that I think I grow a greater appreciation for it. This time was even more special because it was going to be the last time I saw my grandfather on my mom’s side. He was 103 years old! I’m so grateful for the time we went because I got to see him while he was still healthy. I hadn’t mentioned it in the past, but he had a stroke during our visit and passed away soon after I came home. I’m grateful to have the last memories of him while he was healthy and to have been able to help him in the hospital. I was considering sharing some images I captured of him during the beginning of our trip, but not sure if I really will on my blog…
But with all that said, I created so many amazing memories this past year. A lot of them came from my travels and I could not be more grateful for the opportunities. There were moments that made me laugh hysterically and moments that made me cry. 2019 will be hard to forget. But it makes me so excited to see what’s in store for 2020 and all the images that still need to be created. Thank you all so much for following along on my journey.
What’s on your travel list for 2020? and HAPPIEST NEW YEAR!!!