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I have an ongoing list of places I need to photograph or return back to. So when my friend, Birch invited me to walk around Alexandria with her, I was 100% in! I feel like Alexandria has been on my list of places I need to revisit for a long time. 2 for 1 deal if you ask me. A nice morning walk in Alexandria with great company!

I had no real expectations of what I wanted to shoot. I was just looking forward to exploring the city with my camera. So when we started weaving in and out of the neighborhoods, I loved the way that some of the doors were decorated for Easter. These two houses in particular caught my eye. I love the yellow from the tree to the Easter wreath and then finally back to the left hand side with that piece of gold on the bottom of the door. I also really liked the red door right next to the red brick house. Everything about this image just lined up so nicely.

I totally felt like @DCCityGirl while I was capturing this image! LOL House portraits aren’t something I usually do, but I just couldn’t resist when I saw this one.

Hope you all have a great weekend! I’m off to Chicago today with Andrew for the weekend to scout some places to photograph for the photo workshop in July. I’ve spent the last few days reading articles online and I’m really looking forward to sharing what I find with you all. Although I heard that it snowed earlier this week! I already packed away all my winter clothes for the year. LOL.

My camera settings for this image is F4 at 1/1600 and ISO 400 with my Sony A7II and 70-200mm zoom lens.

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Last Friday we had our first rain of the Cherry Blossom season. It rained off and on all day but I was really hoping it would be a little more off than on. I just happened to have a photo walk with a camera club scheduled so at least until after sunset would have been the best time with me. Even though mother nature didn’t cooperate and started raining in the middle of the night, I was excited to share the experience with them. Rain during cherry blossom season means two things. 1: There won’t be as many people at the Tidal Basin. 2: The petals start falling on the ground. That’s not to say that I want cherry blossom season to end earlier than it should, but I just love the way they blanket the grass. It’s almost like snow when you watch them falling from the trees. I love it. They’re so small and delicate that it can be hard to capture but I think it’s just as exciting.

One of my favorite things to do is to get really close to foreground subjects and make them look larger than they really are. In order to capture this image, I actually just put my camera on the ground and started clicking away. I would move it in different places to get the composition I liked, but the main goal was to make the petals look big.

Although cherry blossom season may almost be over, I have plenty to share with you all! If we are counting the past 8 days of sunrises, I woke up for 6 of them. So I got tons and tons of pictures to share! Plus I can’t wait for the other flowers around the city to bloom. Ok, it’s been decided. Spring is my favorite season.

My camera settings for this image is F7.1 at 1/200th sec and ISO 1000 with my Sony A7II and my Sony A7II and 16-35mm wide angle lens.

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The watch is onnnnnn….

Last week Capital Weather Gang and the National Cherry Blossom festival both announced their predictions for the peak of cherry blossom season this year. It’s not always accurate, but they are usually pretty close. So I think I can confidently say that we should expect the cherry blossoms to start their first blooms the first week of April.

I C-A-N-T W-A-I-T. It’s always my favorite time of year and literally when I will probably be coming out of this winter hibernation I’ve been experience ever since the last snow storm here in Washington DC. Sometimes I do feel a little pressure to come up with new composition ideas but once I actually get to the Tidal Basin, I’m always inspired by the flowers. Honestly, the city doesn’t get any prettier than when the cherry blossoms are here.

So if you’re in the area, definitely mark your calendars for the 1st week of April. It will be a good time and if we run into each other, please say hello. It’s always great meeting people who read the blog.

This image was taken 2 years ago. It was probably one of the most epic cherry blossom days in recent memory. It was so foggy and visibility was so low that everything else around me just disappeared. I imagine if it weren’t so foggy you’d even see a little bit of the Washington Monument in the background. My favorite part is how this tree limb is barely touching the water but the reflection is just so nice. I don’t know why but I just keep staring at the right side of this image and I love it so much.

My camera settings for this image is F6.3 at 1/80th sec and ISO 200 with my Sony A7II and 28-70mm lens.

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This image was taken on my way out of the Cholla Cactus Garden in Joshua Tree National Park at early morning just after sunrise. The sunrise was particularly colorful but unfortunately we weren’t able to capture it from the Cactus garden. The sky was starting to explode with color while we were on our way over there and ended up taking pictures somewhere along the side of the road to capture the Joshua Trees as foreground instead.

Its funny to me that all my recent trips and memories of Southern California has been in the winter time. I feel like it’s a totally different experience than if you visited in the summer. I bring that up because I was actually talking to Andrew this morning and we were trying to recall if California had a lot of mosquitos or not. To be honest, I don’t even remember seeing a lot of bugs in general. I’m sure if they did, there would be a lot in the summertime but because we have been there in the winter, I can’t even remember. Can anyone shine some light on this question?

Anyways, I got side tracked. Joshua Tree is an amazing place to visit if you’re ever planning a trip. I hope to go back sometime soon and see more of the park cuz it’s huge. Maybe in the summertime so I can see for myself about the bug situation? LOL. But I know the temperature difference is going to be extreme. While we were there it was super windy and so cold that at times it was difficult to be outside. I imagine it to be the same in the summer but with the heat.

My camera settings for this image is F4 at 1/1250th sec and ISO 800 with my Sony A7II and 70-200mm.

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If you’ve never been to the Neon Museum, I’d highly recommend it. Out of all the times I’ve been to Vegas, I can’t believe I’ve never been before. It’s a really cool place with lots to see and reminisce on what used to be.

My mom and I used to go every summer while I was growing up. Her sister and family lives there so we would go and visit them all the time. I loved it. But what I didn’t realize was how family friendly Vegas was trying to be in the 90’s. At that time there was Circus Circus, Excalibur, Luxor was just built and for those super hot summer days, Wet and Wild was my favorite place to be. It wasn’t until I took the tour at the Neon Museum where I realized that that was happening and I was actually happy I grew up in the era of the “family friendly Vegas”.

Now it’s the total opposite of that but it’s still really cool to see these vintage signs. For example, this sign of the Stardust. I totally remember visiting the hotel and casino but even more so I remember watching the the building blow up on TV. My cousin told me that her and her friends were sitting on top of their car and watched it in person. Pretty cool if you asked me.

So if you’ve never been, I’d highly recommend the art talk provided the the Neon Museum. It was entertaining to listen to and learned a lot of cool facts. To be honest, the “boneyard” itself wasn’t big. I actually did a whole lap around before I found out about the art talk, attended the art talk, and then did another entire lap around the property. It worked out well because I challenged myself to keep the same lens on for each lap I did and could only switch when I was done. It definitely challenged me to be more mindful of things and I probably saw a lot more detail than I would have if I was just constantly switching the entire time. In case you’re wondering, 3 laps around the boneyard took me about an hour.

My camera settings for this image is F14 at 1/250th sec and ISO 160 with my Sony A7II and 16-35mm wide angle lens.

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One of the really cool things about being in Las Vegas this time of the year was being able to see all the Lunar New Year decorations. Each hotel that participated had such different vibes and recreations of the holidays but my favorite is always the one at the Bellagio Hotel and Casino. I don’t know what it is about it, but they always seem to go all out for special occasions. So I knew I had to stop by at least once to check it out.

This was taken one night when I went on a walk alone with me and my camera. It was so much fun just taking my time to explore the city at night. So I basically started from our hotel and walked about a mile and a half on one side of the strip, turned around and walked on the other side on the way back to the hotel. I knew that I had to pop my head into the Bellagio and thought that the interior decor was crazy cool but then when I stepped out, I saw all the lanterns hanging above the entrance into the hotel. I was actually on my way to go watch the famous water fountain show but then I saw this reflection out of the corner of my eye and I had to stop. I get so excited when I see little surprises like this. The fountains of Bellagio were going to have to wait. LOL so worth it.

My camera settings for this image is F7.1 at 1/8th sec at ISO 1200 with my Sony A7II and 16-35mm wide angle lens. I didn’t use a tripod for this because I didn’t want to have to carry it around with me so I ended up balancing my camera on the edge of the water fountain which turned out to be perfect because I was able to capture much more of the reflection being so down low.