weather

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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.

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Taken just a couple of minutes after this image, I was so grateful for the rain. It wasn’t heavy rain that made you want to run back to your car. It was just enough rain to make the petals fall a little from the trees but also create these amazing puddles.

On a typical sun shiny day, it’s not surprising to see one or two puddles at the Tidal Basin. But on a day like last Friday, there were puddles almost every corner you turned. Although they aren’t great for the cherry blossom trees, they are really cool to create these reflection shots. #savethetidalbasin. The other great thing about the rain is that they scare away a lot of potential visitors. For a moment there, I thought I had the whole Tidal Basin to myself! I was about to start blasting music from my phone before I saw a group of runners run past me. I should have brought my ear phones.

But I’m glad I got a few minutes alone with this puddle. I had never seen one form around this area so I took advantage of the opportunity and shot a couple of shots.

Pro tip: It’s said to say but everytime you visit the Tidal Basin, you should wear waterproof boots. That’s the only way you won’t can really avoid getting wet but still get puddle shots like this.

In case you were wondering, I was at the Basin again yesterday. It looks like a majority of the trees have lost a significant amount of petals over the weekend. They’re still beautiful and worth the visit if you still haven’t been this year. It just won’t be as pink and fluffy.

My camera settings for this image is F7.1 at 1/125th sec and ISO 1000 with my Sony A7II and 16-35mm wide angle lens.

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Speaking of fog, Saturday was really foggy. There were times that you could not even see the Washington Monument it was so foggy. But at sunrise, the fog brought this beautiful glow to the city and it was amazing.

On this particular day, I parked on Ohio Dr. so coming from that side of the National Mall, I had my first glimpse of the US Capitol at the Reflecting Pool. I love how the dome is partially covered by the mist and lights. This was the very first shot I took and probably my favorite from the entire morning. I didn’t have my tripod with me so I sort of balanced my camera along the side of the reflecting pool and for this shot it worked well. Others, not so much. Another reason why this is my favorite shot. LOL.

So I have been getting questions about foggy mornings. Just like a colorful sunrise, they’re hard to predict. This particular morning I knew it was going to be foggy because the night before had been incredibly foggy and the weather apps said it was going to last all night. However, there have been times that I have been out and knew there was going to be fog without the weather apps saying so. I’ve realized that when I listen to the radio or a weather forecast and the meteorologist says, “warm front” then there’s a good chance for fog. It’s the combination of the warm air mixing with the cold that brings the foggy mornings and I love it. Foggy mornings like this is what makes photography so much fun. You just never know what you’re going to get.

My camera settings for this image is F5.6 at 0.6 sec and ISO 800 with my Sony A7II with my 70-200mm ultra zoom lens.

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I didn’t exactly believe this the first time I saw it, but Capital Weather Gang was right. It’s look like it’s going to be a snowier winter than normal. Well, at least that what it seemed like last week because we got snow. In November.

I woke up for sunrise Thursday morning and looked out the window and barely saw anything. So I went back to bed thinking that we probably got as much as we were going to because we never get snow in November. If anything, it usually starts in January but holy cow. I fell asleep for about another hour and when I woke up the sidewalk, grass, roads, everything was covered. I was so excited.

I love snow.

So I got up, ate breakfast, walked Frankie and was ready to head out the door. I decided to go to the tidal basin because I love photographing the snow with white memorials. I love the monochromatic look. Even when it’s full on color, it still looks black and white 🙂 But since it was fall and the leaves were changing, I thought it would be interesting to photograph the contrast.

The image above was taken from across the street at the George Mason Memorial. I love it because it still had some flowers and color. It was really the look I was going for to photograph the snow with fall colors.

This was taken on my way towards the Jefferson Memorial. I love how delicate the snow looks on the bushes. Oh, have I mentioned that I love snow on greenery too? Totally reminds me of Christmas.

Thomas Jefferson and I both love a good reflection.

On my way back to the car I decided to check out the cherry blossom trees. Most of the leaves are gone and I can’t imagine the snow making it that much better.

So not to jinx anything, but crossing my fingers for more snow this year!

 

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So this is the type of weather I would expect for October. When it’s cool and crisp outside but still indecisive enough so you can get these really moody sunrise/blue hour type images. Not the 80 degree weather we have been getting.

I took this image last year with my friend, Larry. Pretty much ever since we’ve met, we’ve made it an appoint to go to Shenandoah National Park to check out the fall foliage. I think last year was our third year in a row. But I remember this day VERY clearly. It was crazy, crazy foggy. So foggy to the point where we could not see much of the mountains. It was all just fog. It was even difficult to drive at some points. Obviously Larry and I got out of the car to capture a few images here and there but we soon decided that we needed to have a second trip in order to actually capture the type of images we wanted.

This particular image was taken along side of skyline drive. We parked the car and were pretty much the only ones in the park that early in the morning so it was easy to just get out and walk in the middle of the road. It could have been a little dangerous considering how foggy it actually was and the visibility was basically zero. But luckily, I was with Larry and we would look out for each other in case a car was coming. The yellow and red leaves in this image just make me so happy.

Looking forward to the leaves changing this year in the park and hopefully visiting again sometime soon with Larry.

My camera settings for this image is F4 at 1/30th sec at ISO 250 with my Sony A7II and my 16-35mm wide angle zoom lens.

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If you asked either me or Andrew what our favorite part of the road trip was, we would both say Dalsnibba. I think it was both of our favorites because it was so unexpected. Let me paint you a picture.

So driving from Flåm to Geiranger was our longest day of travel. Not to mention that the day before we had put in the wrong address in our GPS and ended up driving an unintended extra 2 hours. So when we left Flåm we made 100% sure we had the right address and I think we both just wanted to get to Geiranger as fast as possible so we didn’t have to spend another day in the car. Midway through our drive, Andrew and I stopped for lunch which was just a quick sandwich from the grocery store and we switched places driving. It was my turn to drive. Andrew was tired so he put his seat down and took a nap while I navigated the Norwegian roads.

It was rainy, it was foggy and hard to see even 5 feet ahead of me but I made it through all the downhill hairpin turns. We finally got to our cabin that we were staying at and decided to walk around the little town area. That’s when we saw a poster and sign for Dalsnibba. It looked beautiful so we took a picture of it and kept it moving.

The next morning we ate breakfast and went on a little hike. After the hike was over, we knew we still wanted to stay in Geiranger but didn’t know what to do. Our next destination was only 2 hours away so we wanted to make the most out of the the beautiful Geirangerfjord. Luckily we took a picture of that poster and decided that we should just go checkout what it was. When I put the address in the GPS, I realized it was probably off the road we drove in from, but couldn’t see it because it was so foggy. Holy COW. As soon as we started making our way up the mountain, my jaw immediately dropped. I could not believe that both of us had missed out on such amazing views! Like seriously, it was probably one of the most surprising and beautiful things I’ve ever seen.

This was taken on the very top of the mountain at the Dalsnibba skywalk. I used my 70-200mm to zoom in on the snow because I thought the low hanging clouds would bring in this extra moodiness. But I’m also in love with the texture. Man, I loved that long lens while on this trip. There are just so many details that would be difficult to see if it weren’t for that extra zoom.

My camera settings for this image is F4.0 at 1/8000th ISO 500 with my Sony A7II and 70-200mm lens.