winter

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It’s official. I’ve officially caught spring fever and over the cold winter weather. You can now bring on the warmer temps and longer days. I’m ready! But in case you missed it, I’ve updated my cherry blossom guide with everything you need to know about photographing the beautiful flowers. From my favorite trees at the Tidal Basin to other places where you can catch the flowers blooming around the city. It’s all there. And of course, if you have any other questions about the cherry blossoms, please let me know in the comments. I’ll try my best to answer them.

But while I’m actually waiting for my spring dreams to come true, I figured I may as well load up on all the winter snow images I have while they’re still relevant. LOL. Things like this is why people always think I think ahead.

Anyways, this image was taken during our biggest snowfall of the year. It’s not really saying much since we didn’t get THAT much accumulation this season but it was still fun to capture. Like I said in my previous blog, I ended up taking the metro into the city and ended my day at the Smithsonian stop. This image was captured closer to the final destination but there was something that compelled me to turn around and take one last look at the Washington Monument when I saw this scene. I just loved how the trees were flanking and framing the obelisk. But I think my favorite part is looking at the very bottom of he image and seeing all the details. I don’t know why but I think it’s because those American flags and light posts are usually captured to be larger than life but when you see them in reference to the trees, they look so tiny. Definitely a new way of looking at these “everyday” things.

My camera settings for this image is F7.1 at 1/1600th sec and ISO 800 with my Sony A7II and 70-200mm zoom.

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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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Speaking of our cold winter, I’m so glad that we got some decent snow this year in the District. When we finally did receive enough snow, it never accumulated to too much but it was enough to blanket the city and slow things down. Good enough for me! This image was captured 2 weeks ago when we got the most snow so far this season, probably 1-3 inches depending on where you were standing.

It didn’t start snowing until the early morning so I woke up early, completed my morning routine of eating breakfast and getting ready for the day and headed straight to the metro to go into Washington DC. For a weekday, I remember it being eerily quiet. I tend to only take the metro on snow days and July 4th, so I honestly don’t have much to compare it to but it really was quiet! I just popped my headphones in and headed straight to the National Mall. I probably spent about 3 hours walking from Foggy Bottom Metro station to the Lincoln Memorial and then finally the Smithsonian Metro stop. Obviously there were a lot of stops in between but there’s hardly anything better than taking your time with your camera, listening to some of your favorite music and capturing one of the most photogenic places in America. I love how the snow just transforms the city.

This image was taken along the Lincoln Memorial Reflecting Pool. The tree line along the pool makes for a great place to capture depth because of the rows of trees, fencing and overhead lights. I love how that blue backpack just pops in an otherwise overcast image. It’s becoming one of my favorite places to capture when we have really dense weather (snow, fog, storms)

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

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Right before I left for Las Vegas, all my winter dreams came true. We finally got a decent amount of snow in the Washington DC area that I was able to photograph. I think one of my favorite things about photographing the snow in the national mall is the white on white that you get from the snow with the memorials. It just makes everything look so calm and monochromatic. The only way that you can tell that this is a color image is from the street signs. LOL.

The best part is that the snow doesn’t stop people from getting out there and exploring. You know what, I even saw runners and bikers on bicycles out in the snow. You can never say that the people in Washington DC aren’t dedicated. LOL.

This is an image that I’ve been planning for a while now. I’ve actually taken quite a few images from this spot but I don’t know if I’ve ever published any of them. They’ve never been exactly what I’ve been looking for. But in this particular image, I love all the snow on the ground with the tire tracks that are acting like leading lines directly to the side of the Lincoln Memorial. I saw those people crossing and purposely waited for them to be in the middle. I guess just a small detail that makes the image just a little more interesting. I love how it adds a little bit of scale as well.

Even though it just lasted one day, I’m glad I was finally able to capture some this winter season 🙂 But to be honest, I’m about ready for spring now.

My camera settings for this image is with my Sony A7II F4.0 at 1/2000th sec and ISO 800 with my Sony A7II and 70-200mm ultra zoom lens.

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Like I said in my last post, I have never actually crossed the Roosevelt Island bridge. Crazy, right? I’ve always just parked in the parking lot and headed straight to the trail just to capture images of the monuments. I had no idea what I was missing out on. So if you’re like me and haven’t explored this great place, it’s this open area with what look like great pieces of art and architecture around. It doesn’t seem very big and it was a little difficult to imagine what the water features looked like while they were covered in snow but I’m sure they could be really cool to capture in warmer climate. Already getting ideas for reflection images!

But it was the sculpture of President Roosevelt that really captured my attention. He’s right in the center when you arrive at the island so I tried to find different ways to photograph it. I really liked how he was covered in the snow (almost that white on white that I was looking for) but still looked like he was waving “hello”. LOL. After circling it a little bit, I found that I really liked the look of putting him a little further back but having a blurred out foreground element to make it look a little more interesting and to give that depth. I remember trying to stoop down a little so that the curvature of the bush matched the implied curvature of his body matched. So I would say that this was a successful first trip out to Roosevelt Island!

Even with all these great snow opportunities, I still can’t enough. Here’s to hoping we get a little bit more snow this season. Fingers crossed!

My camera settings for this image is F11 at 1/160 sec at ISO 200 with my Canon 5D Mark II and 70-200mm.

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I’m pretty sure it was my lucky week last week because we ended up having 2 snow days! The second came totally unexpected to me. I think I was so concentrated on the getting news updates about the polar vortex and how cold it was going to be on Thursday that I did not even see the snow on Friday coming.

From what I saw the day of, it was only going to snow a little bit for a few hours in the morning. I think the weather people were estimating an inch or less. But it ended up snow pretty much all day. I’m so glad because I was busy in the morning which left the afternoon for me to play in the snow with my friend, Birch.

We first met up at the View of DC so we could capture the whole city in a blanket of snow. But it was snowing so much that the visibility of everything was really low. While we were up there, we decided that we wanted to get back onto ground level and see what it looked like from Roosevelt Island, in particular the bridge. There was something that bridge that Birch really wanted to capture so we went for it.

Out of all the times I’ve been to Roosevelt Island, I’ve never actually crossed that bridge. Weird, right? So glad Birch suggested going out there because I love this image of her. I love the ice in the water that formed during the polar vortex, I love how you can see the snow falling but I also love capturing Birch in her natural state. LOL. Also having that extra snowflake blur on her is very interesting to me. A happy accident that brings just a little bit more attention to her and her camera 🙂

My camera settings for this image is F11 at 1/125 sec at ISO 200 with my Canon 5D Mark II and 70-200mm zoom.