Virginia

Emilie in the Snow

Virginia just got it’s first snow of the year just in time for me and Emilie to have settled in after moving out to Northern Virginia. We got about and inch and a half of snow and it’s a site that is so rare in Albuquerque, New Mexico, where I am from. We manage to get out right as the snow was calming down but flakes were still falling. It added an element to the photos that is incredibly unique and the help create interest as out of focus element. Bellow is a time lapse of my editing process which you can see I only use a light amount of retouching and most of the focus is on getting the contrast and color right where I like it. For this shoot I ended up cheating a little bit on the magenta side simply because i felt like sit fit the mood better especially because it looked like the white balance I shot in was cheating toward the Green side.

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Travel Photography: Virginia/ D.C 2015

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It’s been a little more than a year since I traveled Virginia to visit my girlfriend’s family and friends. The last time I was out there, the weather was relatively cold and I had the opportunity to experience what it was like to get two feet of snow overnight. This time around, I got to experience what a humid summer is like on the East Coast.

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To be honest I didn’t play with my camera much this trip. I came out specifically to spend time with my girlfriend and her loved ones and I didn’t particularly feel compelled to spend my time hiding behind a camera. However there were situations while we were out and about with Emilie’s friends that I brought my camera along.

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One of the first places we walked through was Old Town Alexandria, where we spent most of our time going in and out of the different shops. Normally, this would have been the ideal place to shoot some street photography, however the crowed in the area didn’t particularly catch my interest. Instead a lot of my focus here was on Emilie and her friends as we entered and exited the different shops.

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Later in the trip we took the Metro up to D.C. for the standard Museum and sight-seeing day. The great thing about being in a touristy area is that you don’t have to work too hard to blend in.

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Summers in D.C. and summers in Albuquerque look incredibly different. For starters, D.C. Is a proper metropolitan area whereas Albuquerque can sometimes have more of a wide-spread, small town feel. On top of that, it’s a lot greener in D.C. on account of the humidity.But, in contrast, D.C. doesn’t have the same sky that New Mexico does.

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While in the Museums I didn’t want to get too trigger happy; instead of focusing on the exhibits I focused on my group of people (and some strangers) while still maintaining respect for the atmosphere.

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The lighting in the museum of art was very different from what i am used to. There were areas with really soft flattering lighting, and others with dark areas that had intense falloff. Nothing I couldn’t handle especially with editing the RAW file in post.

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In the backwoods of Virginia I tried stepping out of my normal comfort zone and shooting some nature shots, a realm of photography I am certainly not native to.AJA_0153

While shooting so close to nature I discovered that I craved the convenience of a macro lens (something that I don’t own) which could have let me get in closer for finder detail shots. I found that many of the wide shots that I had taken felt a bit chaotic.

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Of course I couldn’t just get a new setting in front of me and pass up the opportunity for a portrait session. So me and Emilie went out on one of the few days that we had down time and took some photos. The seemingly constant overcast sky provided soft lighting and the foliage gave the perfect backdrop. The drawback of this was the humidity that caused my lens to fog up at the top of the shoot, which called for some editing to make it look like it was on purpose.

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Overall, it was a fun and successful trip and I look forward to going out there again.

First Travel Photography Experience

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I don’t get out of New Mexico very often. Theirs the occasional trip out to Texas to visit family members but for the most part I’m stuck in the land of Enchantment (or Entrapment depending on who you talk to.) So when taking a trip out to Virginia to visit my girlfriend’s family and friends I figured it would be an excellent opportunity to step into the world of photography.The first rule you normally hear in terms of travel photography is travel light. This mentality has been what given rise to mirrorless camera systems, but unfortunately all I have is a full frame DSLR and a set of 3 lenses to go with it (and other miscellaneous.) in retrospective I could have left my Flash and my 70-200 at home but it was one of those things that you just can’t account for.

Virginia is completely the opposite of Albuquerque. The roads are winding as opposed to on a grid, the whether  was cold and gloomy as opposed to hot and bright and somehow the food felt empty. (Seriously I didn’t know I could miss food so much.) But the whether was the most visual part. You don’t get Snow in New Mexico (or at least not this much.)press-7

The backwoods area of where I was staying got up to 6inches of snow which in South Western standards. It’s not something that I’m particularly used to and it offered a different set of scenery that I never get out in New Mexico.

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Other than being in Virginia I got to see some the surrounding areas. The first was going up to Annapolis Maryland to see my cousin and we got to see the bay and the Naval Academy.

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Among my time in Annapolis I also got the opportunity to do some street photography in the area.

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It was rather interesting to be in a different area with crowded streets to actually take pictures. Street photography isn’t something that you can do that often in New Mexico where the streets aren’t crowded and you would stick out like a soar thumb with a large DSLR.

Another place I got to see is the nations Capital in Washington D.C. One thing that I discovered when I was their is that taking photos of the monuments is difficult. I’m not well versed in landscapes and architecture photography so I didn’t quite get what I wanted out of the photos.

However the more interesting thin that I had done was going the the museums of natural historypress-10.

Animals, Dinosaurs and ancient humanity was everything and getting photos of them was incredibly fun.

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Overall we get it was a fun experience to get to do something I don’t get to do where I’m from and get photos I don’t get to take in New Mexico. But all in all I’m glad to be home.