Spring is my favorite time to be in Washington DC. Birds are chirping, flowers are blooming and everyone seems to have a smile on their face. What’s not to love? It’s a special time to be in the city where tourists and locals alike flock to the famous cherry blossoms to admire their beauty.
One of my favorite places to go to shoot in Northern Virginia is Meadowlark Botanical Gardens. I actually learned about it through Andrew. The first time we went here was on one our first dates. I still remember thinking it was weird that he took me here because he gets bad allergies in the spring time but he knew it was a place that I’d enjoy so I really appreciated that about him. Some of my favorite cherry blossom images that I’ve ever taken were taken from here. For example this one and this one. I just love the variety of flowers that you can see here.
So when I got the opportunity to pick a workshop location for a recent one-on-one teach that I did, Meadowlark was the first place that popped in my head. It is beautiful but still quiet enough where we’d be able to walk and talk about cameras and settings without disturbing many other people. The National Mall is a good place too, but it can get pretty crowded and parking isn’t always the best situation. So a great alternative is Meadowlark.
This image was taken from across the lake facing the Korean Bell Garden. I love how the branches create a cool frame around the pagoda. If I didn’t know any better than I would have assumed this was taken somewhere in Asia.
Just in case you’re in the area, the gates will open at 6a on Saturday May, 19th when they typically open at 10a. I bet this would look really nice in the early morning light. And if you’re interested in my workshops, click here for more information. They’re one-on-one so I can cater the information based on whatever you’d like to learn. Plus you don’t have to live in the DC metro area, we could go over everything through google hangouts or skype 🙂
My camera settings for this image is F5.6 at 1/1250th of a second at ISO 200 with my Sony A7II and 28-70mm handheld.
I went out to Meadowlark Botanical Gardens earlier this week to check out the blossoms there. It’s one of my favorite places to go outside of the city to see some beautiful flowers. Unfortunately, I was too early. It hardly looked like anything was blossoming yet including the cherry blossoms. So I took the opportunity to just walk around an enjoy the afternoon sun.
In the center of the park is a large pond with a gazebo. It’s one of the first things you see when you walk through the park. I love walking on the bridge leading to the gazebo because there are always these large koi fish that come to greet you. I’m not sure how they know you’re there but they definietly know. If you just stand there for 2 minutes, you’ll see at least 10 of them come swimming towards you. There have been many times in my life where I wish I had a piece of bread with me. This was another one of those times. I would of loved to feed the fish, unfortunately I didn’t have anything with me but my camera.
I’m not giving up hope on Meadowlark yet though. I plan on being back there when the cherry blossoms in DC are over. I think that’d be the perfect time to go.
For this image, I shot it at f5.6 1/800th of a second ISO 250 with my 28-70mm lens. My overall vision for this image was to capture the motion of the fish. Not with a long exposure, but with the curvature in their bodies. I love watching them move so smoothly through the water, I felt like the twists and turns that they make would really capture motion. Plus I love that little splash the tail is creating from the fish on top of the image.
Like I said yesterday, DC has been getting a lot of rain. It makes it very difficult to take sunrise and sunset images because the clouds have been convering the sun. So, I went with my friend William to shoot Meadowlark Gardens. I have a good time shooting with him because he makes me think about a lot of things I’ve never thought about, whether its how to find the right composition or about photo as a business.
Unfortunately, it started raining right in the middle of us walking around the gardens. Fortunately, it stopped pretty quickly and we were able to get some great shots of water droplets on flowers.
My very first water droplet image. I loves it! What do you think? I’m so excited to go back to Meadowlark Garden and practice more macro shots. Thanks again to William Folsom for helping me with my macro images.