weather

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I don’t think I could have planned this scene better myself. I love all the layers of yellow that the taxis in Taipei created. There’s even yellow in the signage in the background that makes me even happier. But this was not planned at all. I was actually just following people with umbrellas to see if I could create an interesting image. As soon as I saw this woman stop at the corner, I knew I had to just wait for that right moment for something to happen. I noticed one taxi drive-by and saw all the yellow in the frame, so I patiently just waited for another one. Luckily, when you’re in a busy city like Taipei, it doesn’t take very long.

I think that’s what’s so exciting about street photography to me. It’s that feeling of a chase that you’re always on the hunt. An unexpected composition that you’ve never imagined but turned out way better than you could have come up within your head. I know I haven’t gone through all my images from Taiwan yet, I’ve really only looked at the first few days, but I’m so excited to see how the rest have turned out!

My camera settings for this image are F7.1 at 1/400th sec and ISO 800 with my Sony A7II and 70-200mm zoom lens.

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Prior to leaving for Taiwan, I would keep on checking the weather because it literally said rain every single day that I was going to be there. Even though it was forecasted, luckily it did not rain every day. We somehow managed to arrive at the island at the very beginning of a typhoon. Which is crazy because I thought they only happened in the summer months but this one was coming in the middle of November. We were lucky because it wasn’t going to hit Taipei. It was forecasted to hit some other part of the country and Taipei was only going to get a little of the residual.

But that didn’t stop me from taking my camera everywhere I went. This image was captured while I was wandering around in the streets one day around lunchtime. I was trying to capture all the scooters lined up at the red light when a woman and her umbrella walked passed my camera. I love the way that it turned out and the accident framing. One thing that I loved about this forecasted weather was that even if there was a slight drop of rain from the sky, everyone had an umbrella out. It made for AMAZING street photography!

My camera settings for this image are F7.1 at 1/1250th sec and ISO 800 with my Sony A7II and 70-200mm zoom lens.

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And this is what it looks like when lightning strikes behind the clouds. I love the glow the clouds are giving off in this image. So much so that it’s kind of hard for me to say if I like this image better or the one I took of the actual lightning strike. There’s something about seeing all the definition in the clouds that I can’t stop looking at. Plus it’s incredible how much light actually comes from lightning. *trying my best not to reference Grease Lightning*

Let me know in the comments which one you prefer.

In other news, Andrew and I are headed to Oregon next week. I can’t wait. It’s our first times visiting and I’m really looking forward to spending time exploring the Pacific Northwest. You should see my google map. It’s filled with pins. Is it me or does it seem like everywhere you turn is another waterfall in Oregon? While I was doing some photo research, I read that someone called it the “Iceland of America”. I giggled but also really hope it’s true.

I also discovered that Oregon seems super dog-friendly. Out of all the places I was interested in going, Crater Lake National Park is the only place that dogs aren’t allowed to go. So with that in mind, Frankie’s coming on the trip with us too! I can’t wait to go on hikes with him and run on the beach. Don’t worry though, we bought a backpack for when he gets tired on the hikes 🙂 Can’t wait!!

My camera settings for this image is F4 at 1/5th sec and ISO 2000 with my Sony A7II and 16-35mm wide-angle lens with my tripod.

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I’m not sure when I started to become a sunset/night photographer but it just sort of started happening naturally. The summer days have been rough to wake up for sunrise but to be honest, the sunsets have been looking way better than sunrise anyways. Sunset around Washington DC has it’s own interesting challenges like parking and dealing with the crowds of people but the more I get out there, the more I’m appreciating the sunset glow more and more.

But this image came by accident. I was out with Zack (again, on a different night) to photograph the Lincoln Memorial at sunset. The sunset wasn’t really what we expected so we waited a bit longer for blue hour to try to capture the monuments at night. Then when I was about to say bye to Zack and walk back to my car, I saw a lightning bolt out of the corner of my eye.

OMG change of plans. I did not end up going back to my car, quickly texted Andrew that I was going to be home later than I expected and both Zack and I started looking at weather apps to see where the storm was headed. We made a game plan to try to capture it by the Tidal Basin and then as the storm moved forward we were going to try to capture it with the Washington Monument. It ended up being a super exciting night of storm chasing but the only problem was that I left my tripod in my car! Argh! Capturing lightning is significantly easier with a tripod and remote.

So I had to improvise. In order to capture this, I was basically just sitting on the ground hoping to get something. I was so lucky. But I also LOVE how the street lights are red. It’s sort of like a warning to not pass in case of lightning.

My camera settings for this image is f4 at 1/15th sec and ISO 1250 with my Sony A7II and 16-35 wide-angle lens.

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I don’t know much about clouds. I remember learning about them in middle school but nothing really stuck except for cirrus clouds. But I do like looking at them. And in the past couple of years of photography, I’ve figured out that mammatus clouds are pretty rare but highly sought after. Like the meteorologists go crazy over them. I’m not sure why other than they look super cool so now I’m always on the lookout for them.

These particular clouds came at sunset, right before full moon shooting. We had a pretty significant storm in the afternoon which caused these stunning clouds and color in the sky. Zack and I were going bananas over the color and running all around the National Mall trying to find different angles to capture it.

It just so happened that a bunch of airplanes were flying into Reagan as well. The storm caused a whole bunch of flight delays earlier in the day so I guess when the sky cleared up, the airplanes started coming in as quickly as possible. It seemed like every 5-10 minutes there was another airplane. But can you imagine looking out your window and seeing this? OMG, what I would have done to be one of the passengers on that airplane.

My camera settings for this image is f6.3 at 1/320th sec and ISO 500 with my Sony A7II and 70-200mm zoom lens.

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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.