Cheers to 2019; On to 2020

It seems that every time I write a post, I lament about how little I have posted and how I intend to do more. But, these past few years — and 2019 specifically — have been super active, and have pulled me away from shooting and sharing as I had previously. I used to be quite active on social media, as a consumer and as a photographer. With the limited time I have left, I found that social is less of a priority for me. I hope I can check in more often, but in the meantime, you can know my passion for photography is ever strong, and my effort is unrelenting.

Though I haven’t spent as much time as I would have liked shooting, that doesn’t mean I haven’t been doing photography or having fun!

About 1 year ago, I started as a Product Manager in Google Research — driving computational photography across products including Pixel, Google Camera, and Google Photos. It’s been a wild ride, and I’m so happy and enthused about where I am and the work I have been able to do so far. 2020 looks even brighter.

For me, this job has been a perfect marriage of passion and experience. I have loved photography for more than a decade, and often dreamed about how I could do it to make a living. For a while, I flirted with the thought of becoming a professional fine art photographer. As a fine art photographer, I would shoot whatever I wanted and create art, with the hopes that it is commercially viable to support me and our family. What I found, however, was that I would have to make a lot of concessions to see that dream come true — sometimes shooting what I don’t enjoy but that sells, or that I would have to spend a large part of my time marketing and selling. Lastly, there is no guarantee that this type of job would be enough support for my family.

I had been an tech & strategy consultant for many years, and while I pursued the idea of becoming a fine art photographer, only some of those professional skills — e.g., business analysis, marketing, sales would come into play if I were to do fine art full time.

But as a product manager, I’m able to parlay nearly all of my professional skills from consulting and combine it with my knowledge and passion for photography to land new applications for nascent technology and enable users, at Google’s scale, to enjoy the art of photography. It’s like I dreamt this role into existence ­čÖé

It wasn’t easy to get to where I am, and there are tons of challenges ahead, but I remain incredibly excited. While my role is to continue to improve computational photography at large, my personal goal is to scale casual creativity to the world. I want to allow people who had never think of themselves as creative, to engage in the creative process, and find even a small degree of fulfillment and self-introspection because of it. If I can help others find just a bit of what I have found through photography, I think it will have profound positive impact.

Now, after that long digression, onto the goods ­čÖé I shot an embarrassingly low amount of proper shoots with my SLR, and to date had two posts to show for the entire year. But, as I said, I have been busy — but shooting more with mobile.

On that note, the Google Pixel is an incredible photographic tool. We ship best-in-class casual modes in Google Camera (built with cutting-edge computational photography): default (HDR+ that fuses up to 9 images for increased dynamic range and reduced noise), Portrait mode (now with stereo cameras for better & further depth rendering, and SLR-like bokeh), Night Sight (now with astrophotography, that will take up to 15 captures over 4 minutes to render a beautiful night sky). We also ship Super Res Zoom, which uses computational techniques to increase detail and sharpness without needing optical zoom. We also produce what we call a “merged DNG”, that takes the outputs of the fused exposures and provides a 16 bit RAW file that is great for editing. I captured several amazing shots this past year using the Pixel and often used the default JPEG out of the camera.  Google Pixels (Pixel 3 and 4) were objectively my go-to cameras for 2019, though I did enjoy some of the motion photo outputs from the iPhone.

On Pixel, this past year, I was involved in several notable launches, including Astrophotography on Pixel 4 + “Astro” filter in Google Photos, and Portrait blur on Google Photos.

Here are some shots from the year and how they relate to our launches on Pixel.

Our astrophotography mode is a remarkable innovation. It allows a user to capture the glory of the night sky with a single tap. The images that come from this mode are truly amazing. Here are some of my own shots, totally unedited and straight of out camera:

Makaluapuna Point Maui
Unedited Pixel 4 Astro Mode

Highway 280
Unedited Pixel 4 Astro Mode

Shark fin cove
Unedited Pixel 4 Astro Mode

Shark fin cove
Unedited Pixel 4 Astro Mode


As you can see, these shots look great straight out of camera. However, we know that people do like to edit their shots, and editing pictures of the night sky can be very challenging. So, we launched the Astro filter in Google Photos. It helps to bright brightness and contrast into the image. This filter, which I tuned with our engineers & photographers, works best on very dark images with foregrounds in deep silhouette. It only triggers for images taken in Astro mode from the Pixel Camera. Here are the last two shots with the Astro filter applied:

 

Shark fin cove
Pixel 4 Astro Mode + Astro filter in Google Photos

Shark fin cove
Pixel 4 Astro Mode + Astro filter in Google Photos

Of course, we don’t want to disappoint power users (like myself). So, we also produce super high quality merged DNGs so a user can edit for her/himself. Here is my own take on those two images:

Torches illuminate Shark Fin Cove as it sits under the bright milky way
Pixel 4 XL merged DNG edited in Photoshop

Shark fin cove
Pixel 4 XL merged DNG edited in Photoshop

 In December, we launched Portrait blur in Google Photos on Pixel, which allows a Pixel user to apply a portrait mode like effect on older images.  Portrait bokeh is one of those effects that can really add a professional touch to everyday photos. 

I’ve been shooting a lot more portraiture in the last several years, in large part because of the beautiful additions to our family (our two daughters). I’ve found that Portrait blur in Google Photos can really help to add that pro quality in older images (ones from years past where you didn’t have portrait mode), when you forget to use Portrait mode, or lastly in combination with other desired modes like Night Sight.

If you’re a Pixel user, you can use the feature as a suggested action that pops up for certain images; you can also trigger the feature for images of up to 4 people by tapping the editor.

Here’s an image where Portrait blur really helped to bring richness to this old photo of my dad, enhancing its sentimental value (for me):

Portrait blur in Google Photos (before)

Portrait blur in Google Photos

Portrait blur in Google Photos (after, with some brightness edits)

Here, I combined Portrait blur with Night Sight to get a portrait mode like shot in very low light (Congrats to Vik & Subi!)

Portrait blur in Google Photos (shot with Night Sight) (before)

Portrait blur in Google Photos (shot with Night Sight) (after)

 

Now the rest of the post will feature some more traditional shots you are used to seeing from me ­čÖé A mix of mobile phone, SLR and drone shots edited in Photoshop. For the full album of my favs from the year, see here.

Marin county
Pixel 4 XL merged DNG edited in Photoshop

The rising moon & milky way rise in the sky above shark fin cove
Nikon D810, Nikon 14-24, multiple exposures edited in Photoshop

Maui Aerial #1
DJI Mavic 2 pro edited in Photoshop

Maui Aerial #2
DJI Mavic 2 pro edited in Photoshop

A view towards Molokai from the North Shores of Maui
Nikon D810, Nikon 14-24, edited in Photoshop

Kahakuloa head before the storms
Nikon D810, Nikon 14-24mm, multiple exposures edited in Photoshop

A rainbow shines onto shrouded Molokai, as seen from the high roads of North Maui
Pixel 4 XL merged DNG edited in Photoshop

Kahakuloa head at sunrise
DJI Mavic 2 pro edited in Photoshop

Sun peeks through clouds at sunset at Pescadero State Beach;
Pixel 3 XL merged DNGs, edited in Photoshop (focus stack + bracketing)

Orange and blues at sunset at Martin’s beach
Pixel 3 XL Single merged DNG edited in Photoshop

Day turns into night as land turns into sea

 

For the full album of my favs from the year, see here.

I shouldn’t have left you

Shooting & sharing has certainly decreased since I moved to California, but I sense that will be changing soon. I will have more to share shortly ­čÖé In the meantime, a teaser from Davenport, CA, a location I like to go to as it’s only an hour from where I live.

Stars emerge just past sunset at Shark Fin Cove

Martin’s Beach Sunset

A few days into the new year, I ventured back to the coast for sunset. It did not disappoint! As the light faded away, I found the right composition for the water levels and view to the start.

"At the Edge"
Day turns into night as land turns into sea
“At the Edge”
Day turns into night where land turns to sea

I also captured some drone footage of the amazing sunset that directly preceded this beautiful twilight. I’m still working out the kinks of how to capture and process…some jerkiness but bear with me. But hopefully you get the jist ­čÖé

 

 

Scouting in Yosemite

Since we moved to California in April of 2017, I hadn’t had a chance to visit the world renowned park which is nearly in my backyard (if you consider 4 hours drive your backyard ­čÖé ).

I spent 3 nights in and around Yosemite mostly scouting an area I have never been to. Much more to see and photograph, but here are a few to start. Aerials coming soon ­čÖé

Multiple exposures near twilight at Tunnel View, Yosemite

Multiple exposures near twilight at Tunnel View, Yosemite

A classic view of the reflection of late evening light over Half Dome

A classic view of the reflection of late evening light over Half Dome

A serene cloudless morning at Lundy Canyon

A serene cloudless morning at Lundy Canyon

An elevated view into the valley exposes layers of aspens, pines, and granite rock in late morning light

An elevated view into the valley exposes layers of aspens, pines, and granite rock in late morning light

The full moon shines light on granite under the blue, early night sky filled with stars

The full moon shines light on granite under the blue, early night sky filled with stars

The sun sinks beneath high peaks and casts color across the valley

The sun sinks beneath high peaks and casts color across the valley

Light peeks through clouds and on high crags near Yosemite

Light peeks through clouds and on high crags near Yosemite

Escape to Maui

Last month we went back to Hawaii – this time the island of Maui. A relaxing trip for sure. But since I was still on Pacific time, I was waking up around 5a every morning. So I spent my time exploring and photographing nearby. A few shots to keep me going, but I hope to have more time to devote to photography…

A blast of color at sunset under the crescent moon at Lahaina, Maui

A blast of color at sunset under the crescent moon at Lahaina, Maui

Striations and patterns carved in lava rock

Striations and patterns carved in lava rock

Rough seas cut through lava rock at Ironwoods beach, Maui

Rough seas cut through lava rock at Ironwoods beach, Maui

Bright lights and fast water converge in an abstract representation

Bright lights and fast water converge in an abstract representation

The sun rises above the shooting seawater of Nakalele Blowhole

The sun rises above the shooting seawater of Nakalele Blowhole


An abstract from the color and movement of the sky and waterAn abstract from the color and movement of the sky and water

An abstract from the color and movement of the sky and water

Return to Shark Fin Cove

Last week, I took a trip back to Shark Fin Cove which has been an early favorite for me along the Norcal coast. I find myself returning again and again to the coast for my evening shoots – an hour drive away from the suburban bustle of Silicon Valley.

This time though, I got a chance to experiment with a new toy, a DJI Mavic Air. I wasn’t convinced that videography is for me for so long, but I am happy I finally made the leap. The technology itself is worth the experience. It’s really crazy how much smarts are packed into this small device, as well as ability to capture a compelling image. I have some ideas in mind to experiement with different types of photography/videography with the Mavic… hope you’ll stay tuned.

In the meantime, I’ll give you the clip from my maiden shoot. A little rough on the edges, but still a lot of fun. Oh, and also some still images I had to capture at lands end.

 

Intense waves crash up the coast at sunset at Shark Fin Cove

Intense waves crash up the coast at sunset at Shark Fin Cove

The namesake sea stack of Shark Fin Cove reflects in tide pools at the shore at sunset

The namesake sea stack of Shark Fin Cove reflects in tide pools at the shore at sunset

Sunset over Pacifica

Last week, I shot sunset over Pacifica and Mori Point. The sea stacks of Sharp Park beach are awesome, and this vantage point would especially be nice during wildflower season. After the cloudless sunset, Venus and early evening stars began shining brightly — mimicking the formation of the 3 large sea stacks in the ocean.

Threes Tango - Sea stacks dance with Venus and early evening stars over the rough Pacific

Sea stacks dance with Venus and early evening stars over the rough Pacific

Symphony Shore

We visited Monterey and Big Sur over the weekend, and finally traveled down to Bixby bridge and McWay Falls! Just before sunset, dappled light hit the cliffs and made for a very peaceful scene

Dappled light over the cliffs over fields of flowers at the coast near Big Sur

Dappled light over the cliffs over fields of flowers at the coast near Big Sur

Sunset at Shark Fin Cove

Things have been super busy since we moved to California in April of last year. But now, we are finally settling into our new home and I was able to spend some time continuing to explore the coast. I know I promised I would move away from coastal photography, but I couldn’t resist.

A blast of color through rough surf during an otherwise gray evening at Shark Fin Cove near Davenport, CA

A blast of color through rough surf during an otherwise gray evening at Shark Fin Cove near Davenport, CA

Dreamy Drama

Another coastal shot! Made it out to natural bridges state park just north of Santa Cruz. Cold water but I quickly got acclimated to it as I stood waist deep to get some good wave action…with another earth, sea, sky shot — maybe time to explore a little inland.

Strong currents and soft light at sunset at Natural Bridges State Park, California

Strong currents and soft light at sunset at Natural Bridges State Park, California

Exploring Cali

In the 6+ months we have lived in the Bay Area, shooting opportunities have been very few. Recently though we took a trip to Lake Tahoe and I had a business trip to San Diego.  I did my best to get back out there and in the elements. 

Finally I feel like I’m starting to explore this beautiful state we live in!

 

Lake Tahoe Sunrise

 

A peaceful sunrise after snowfall at the north shore of Tahoe

Crashing Waves at Tahoe

 

La Jolla Sunset

La Jolla Sunset

La Jolla Sunset

Finally… SF Sunrise

It’s been so long but getting back to the swing of things. My first trip up to SF for sunrise. No clouds – all good. 2 hour commute back to South bay – all bad

Crashing waves at Marshall's Beach

Crashing waves at Marshall’s Beach

A Trip to Paradise

We have been living in the bay area for almost 6 months now… crazy how time flies! In the months since we have been here, we have been busy getting settled. After several months of the grind, we finally got a chance to get away to Hawaii for our 5 year anniversary and my wife’s bday. One of the advantages of living in the west coast is that 5 hours later, we can plop down at a gorgeous beach like we did at Waikiki.

While I really have not spent much time at all in the last 6 months on photography, I had to get a sunrise shoot squeezed into our relaxing time on Oahu. This is my take on the sunrise from Lanai Lookout, just near Hanauma Bay. The sun rose through the haze and highlighted sparkles through the crashing water coming to the lava rock shores.

I hope that in the coming months I can spend more time exploring California through photography. But for this vacation, it was nice to just get back in the swing of things.

Waves crash as the sun rises at Lanai lookoutWaves crash as the sun rises at Lanai lookout

Waves crash as the sun rises at Lanai lookout

Solar Eclipse 2017 in Walnut Creek, CA

I took a few hours to check out an amazing celestial display in the solar eclipse. The experience was really amazing even as I did not witness “totality”. Maybe in 2024 ­čÖé

 

The moon shrouds the sun over the Diablo range

The moon shrouds the sun over the Diablo range

A dark filter reflects the hills of Walnut Creek under the solar eclipse

A dark filter reflects the hills of Walnut Creek under the solar eclipse

Peak Color Peak Bloom

Last evening, storm clouds caught some nice color at sunset. A long exposure streaked the clouds and calmed the water over the Jefferson memorial and still peaking blossoms 

A long exposure streaks clouds during a colorful sunset at the Tidal Basin

A long exposure streaks clouds during a colorful sunset at the Tidal Basin

Pinks and blues over the city and cherry blossoms below at the Washington Monument

Pinks and blues over the city and cherry blossoms below at the Washington Monument

Peak Bloom Cherry Blossoms in Washington DC 2017

Over the weekend, we hit peak of cherry blossoms. After a warm winter followed by a cold spell while the blossoms were partially exposed, many were worried if we would see Cherry Blossoms as we are accustomed to. I think the bloom is actually really nice! I personally can’t tell a difference between this and previous years. This morning was a beautiful calm fog over the scene, which allowed some beautiful blue tones in the clouds with the pink of the blossoms and allowed for a peaceful mood.

Cherry blossoms line the Tidal Basin during a foggy sunrise

Cherry blossoms line the Tidal Basin during a foggy sunrise

Cherry Blossoms and fog surround the Jefferson Memorial

Cherry Blossoms and fog surround the Jefferson Memorial

Cherry blossoms line the Tidal Basin during a foggy sunrise

Cherry blossoms line the Tidal Basin during a foggy sunrise

Cherry Blossoms and fog surround the Jefferson Memorial

Cherry Blossoms and fog surround the Jefferson Memorial

Frozen Blossoms

This morning, I was hoping for a little more photogenic and more snow than what we got. But I made the most of it while touring the Tidal Basin. The blossoms were covered in ice while still delicately blooming. Here’s hoping they will last…

 

Jefferson Memorial Frozen Blossoms

Jefferson Memorial Frozen Blossoms

Washington Monument Frozen Blossoms

Washington Monument Frozen Blossoms

Return to Iceland

Last week I returned to Iceland after an amazing trip in October left me wanting more. For this trip, my goal was to capture winter scenes, in particular ice caves and hopefully some aurora. As it turns out, the rainy weather I witnessed in October stayed for the months I was away, and Iceland is continuing to go through a wet and warm winter. There was no snow on the ground when I arrived and in fact the ice caves were in jeopardy of melting due to intense rainfall. We were not even sure if we could visit as we had hoped. Ultimately, we lucked out on one day where we had no rain and less wind which allowed us to hike 10 miles up and down the glacier, capturing photos and flying the drone all the way! Thanks to my new friend Stephan Mantler, who leads amazing small group hikes here. My short trip was highlighted by that arduous and sometimes intimidating trek — where a slip here or there could mean real trouble and a possible slide all the way down the glacier. My friend Bernard Chen, a very good photographer and videographer, documented our hike below. Besides that hike, I also visited Gulfoss, Vik, and some mountain scenes near Pingvellir. Another nice, short trip to Iceland and I appreciate your thoughts on my work!

Gulfoss Abstract - The most violent section of the Gulfoss waterfall captured under overcast skies

Gulfoss Abstract – The most violent section of the Gulfoss waterfall captured under overcast skies

Edge of the Glacier - Glacial streams and massive shapes take form at the edge of one of the fingers of the Vatnaj├Âkull glacier

Edge of the Glacier – Glacial streams and massive shapes take form at the edge of one of the fingers of the Vatnaj├Âkull glacier

Massive shapes at the edge of the Vatnaj├Âkull glacier trail far into the valley during a somber sunset

Edge of the Glacier Panoramic – Massive shapes at the edge of the Vatnaj├Âkull glacier trail far into the valley during a somber sunset

Here on we started our trip up the glacier! Here’s the documentary our trip up via Bernard Chen and his DJI Mavic Pro.

Call of the North from Bernard Chen on Vimeo.

Ice Hills - Undulating hills fade into the distance atop the Vatnaj├Âkull glacier

Ice Hills – Undulating hills fade into the distance atop the Vatnaj├Âkull glacier

Ice Canyon - A closeup of an ice canyon crevasse atop the Vatnaj├Âkull glacier

Ice Canyon – A closeup of an ice canyon crevasse atop the Vatnaj├Âkull glacier

Shark Fins - An abstract of the sheer shapes of the Vatnaj├Âkull glacier

Shark Fins – An abstract of the sheer shapes of the Vatnaj├Âkull glacier

Ice Land - Late afternoon light hits rolling hills of ice atop the Vatnaj├Âkull glacier

Ice Land – Late afternoon light hits rolling hills of ice atop the Vatnaj├Âkull glacier

What Lies Beneath - A massive crevasse canyon created by meltwater on top of the Vatnaj├Âkull glacier

What Lies Beneath – A massive crevasse canyon created by meltwater on top of the Vatnaj├Âkull glacier

Glacier Lake Reflection - The still glacier lagoon reflects light and the distant glacier and mountains at Vatnaj├Âkull

Glacier Lake Reflection – The still glacier lagoon reflects light and the distant glacier and mountains at Vatnaj├Âkull

Under the Cave - Melting water rushes out from the glacier into the lagoon under a translucent ceiling of glacier ice

Under the Cave – Melting water rushes out from the glacier into the lagoon under a translucent ceiling of glacier ice

Stained Glass - Light streams through cyan ice that resembles stained glass in a massive ice cave under the Vatnaj├Âkull glacier

Stained Glass – Light streams through cyan ice that resembles stained glass in a massive ice cave under the Vatnaj├Âkull glacier

Glass and Ice - Clouds and the sun reflect in the calm glacier lagoon at sunset in front of the Vatnaj├Âkull glacier

Glass and Ice – Clouds and the sun reflect in the calm glacier lagoon at sunset in front of the Vatnaj├Âkull glacier

The next day after our hike, we headed back east towards Vik. While in Reynisfjara, I finally was able to scamper over the rocks during low tide and get a full-on view of the impressive sea stacks (the second shot in these two):

Shimmer Beach - Sunlight reflects the shadows of Vik's sea stacks and bright sparkles of shimmering volcanic rocks that make up the black beach

Shimmer Beach – Sunlight reflects the shadows of Vik’s sea stacks and bright sparkles of shimmering volcanic rocks that make up the black beach

Enter Darkness - A long exposure at sunrise creates a moody scene upon full view of the impressive sea stacks at Reynisfjara beach

Enter Darkness – A long exposure at sunrise creates a moody scene upon full view of the impressive sea stacks at Reynisfjara beach

On our way to Pingvellir, I noticed these massive mountains that were partially reflected in a frozen lake. It was an impressive show of size even in grand Iceland:

Moody Mountaintops - Overcast skies cover the peeks of massive mountains above a frozen lake in east Iceland

Moody Mountaintops – Overcast skies cover the peeks of massive mountains above a frozen lake in east Iceland

Sunrise at the Vietnam Memorial and Lincoln Memorial

This morning I led a very cold workshop at the Vietnam and Lincoln Memorials. Not a cloud in the sky and 20-ish degrees, but still a beautiful sight!

A clear and cold sunrise at the Vietnam Memorial

A clear and cold sunrise at the Vietnam Memorial

Sunrise on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial

Sunrise on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial

Top Shots of 2016

Another year in review! I’m actually surprised at the amount of shots I captured this year, given that next year’s resolution is to shoot more. Here are my fav 10…Which one is your favorite? 

 

Snow and the surrounding American flags fly towards the Washington Monument during the first night of the 2016 blizzard in Washington DC

Snow and the surrounding American flags fly towards the Washington Monument during the first night of the 2016 blizzard in Washington DC

The late winter's "snow moon" rises over the Memorial Bridge, Washington Monument, and Lincoln Memorial

The late winter’s “snow moon” rises over the Memorial Bridge, Washington Monument, and Lincoln Memorial

Washington DC Cherry Blossoms 2016

Washington DC Cherry Blossoms 2016

Rain and mist in the high mountains off of ring road in southern Iceland

Rain and mist in the high mountains off of ring road in southern Iceland

A long exposure as the tide creeps on the Stokksnes beach before the Vesturhorn mountain

A long exposure as the tide creeps on the Stokksnes beach before the Vesturhorn mountain

Light shines through the violent waves and translucent icebergs of the ice beach

Light shines through the violent waves and translucent icebergs of the ice beach

An abstract of light and color turns to sensual lines at Mesquite Flat Sand Dunes

An abstract of light and color turns to sensual lines at Mesquite Flat Sand Dunes

Wildflowers rise from a rocky hillside in the badlands of Twenty Mule Team Canyon

Wildflowers rise from a rocky hillside in the badlands of Twenty Mule Team Canyon

Stars shine brightly over a pathway of cracked mud at Panamint Playa

Stars shine brightly over a pathway of cracked mud at Panamint Playa

Vibrant flowering trees and calla lillies line the architecture of Oia, Santorini as the sun warms the sky and landscape

Vibrant flowering trees and calla lillies line the architecture of Oia, Santorini as the sun warms the sky and landscape

Cold Sunset in DC

Last night I spent some time down by the memorials. I wanted to get a shot of the wreaths against the Vietnam memorial, but the beautiful clouds started gathering more westward. I did a few long exposures facing the Lincoln Memorial before turning back east to the Washington Monument where the sky had turned a deep pink. A pretty nice and unique sunset despite the cold!

Long Exposure Lincoln Memorial Sunset

Long Exposure Lincoln Memorial Sunset

Pink Sunset at the Reflecting Pool

Pink Sunset at the Reflecting Pool

Fall Foliage in the Washington DC Area

As we finally are seeing cold weather we regularly expect in late November, the autumn leaves — several weeks later than normal, are finally falling off of the trees. This past Saturday was a particularly amazing day. It started at 70 degrees on an afternoon we decided to take our baby to the zoo. By 3pm, a cold front arrived with 40 degree weather and crazy wind! Leaves of all shapes and colors flew across the sky. We may have a week or so left to witness the fall color. I’ll perhaps have a little more to share, but here are a few from the past two weeks:

Great Falls Autumn Panorama

Great Falls Autumn Panorama

Lower Senate Park in Autumn

Lower Senate Park in Autumn

Lower Senate Park in Autumn

Lower Senate Park in Autumn

Supermoon over Washington DC

This evening, we saw an amazing supermoon rise over Washington DC. We chose the Constitution Gardens to allow us a view eastward to the rising moon while also seeing the peaking fall foliage. Enjoy!

The stunning supermoon rises over a cloudless pink and blue sky at the Constitution Gardens of Washington DC

The stunning supermoon rises over a cloudless pink and blue sky at the Constitution Gardens of Washington DC

The stunning supermoon rises over a cloudless pink and blue sky at the Constitution Gardens of Washington DC

The stunning supermoon rises over a cloudless pink and blue sky at the Constitution Gardens of Washington DC


Autumn Panorama at the Constitution Gardens

Autumn Panorama at the Constitution Gardens

Happy Veterans Day

Happy Veterans Day on this beautiful fall morning… As shown by some amazing color at the Air Force Memorial this week

Air Force Memorial in the Fall

Air Force Memorial in the Fall

Air Force Memorial in the Fall

Air Force Memorial in the Fall

Adventure in Iceland

I was lucky to spend 3 amazing nights in Iceland. Though there was a lot of rain, I made the best of the situation and had a great time. I will be updating this page with details of my trip!

Icebergs line the shore of the black sand beach near J├Âkuls├írl├│n

Icebergs line the shore of the black sand beach near J├Âkuls├írl├│n

Violent waves smash icebergs around and apart during a seredepitous and rare moment during my trip when the sun peeked through the clouds to color the scene

Violent waves smash icebergs around and apart during a seredepitous and rare moment during my trip when the sun peeked through the clouds to color the scene

Being constantly barraged by water, Icebergs form beautiful shapes during a gorgeous sunrise at the black sand beach

Being constantly barraged by water, Icebergs form beautiful shapes during a gorgeous sunrise at the black sand beach

Light shines through the violent waves and translucent icebergs of the ice beach

Light shines through the violent waves and translucent icebergs of the ice beach

The moon peaks through clouds at sunrise at J├Âkuls├írl├│n

The moon peaks through clouds at sunrise at J├Âkuls├írl├│n

A short break between storms allows beautiful light on the Vatnaj├Âkull ice cap of iceland

A short break between storms allows beautiful light on the Vatnaj├Âkull ice cap of iceland

Rain and mist in the high mountains off of ring road in southern Iceland

Rain and mist in the high mountains off of ring road in southern Iceland

A long exposure as the tide creeps on the Stokksnes beach before the Vesturhorn mountain

A long exposure as the tide creeps on the Stokksnes beach before the Vesturhorn mountain

A moment of color at sunset at Vesturhorn mountain

A moment of color at sunset at Vesturhorn mountain

Peaks and waves rise in the distance at Vesturhorn mountain

Peaks and waves rise in the distance at Vesturhorn mountain

As the tide rises up the beach the sun sets creating a moody scene at Vesturhorn mountain

As the tide rises up the beach, the sun sets creating a moody scene at Vesturhorn mountain

In search of food, a seagull soars across the massive Sk├│gafoss waterfall

A seagull soars across the massive Sk├│gafoss waterfall in search of food

Huge waves crash towards the shore over misty skies and dramatic seastacks at Vik

Huge waves crash towards the shore over misty skies and dramatic seastacks at Vik

Basalt columns wind in beautiful shapes at the shores of Vik

Basalt columns wind in beautiful shapes at the shores of Vik

Basalt columns, soaring birds, crashing waves, and dramatic seastacks make the signature of Reynisfjara beach in Vik

Basalt columns, soaring birds, crashing waves, and dramatic seastacks make the signature of Reynisfjara beach in Vik

A long exposure at the beaches of Vik highlight the dramatic shapes of volcanic rocks and seastacks

A long exposure at the beaches of Vik highlight the dramatic shapes of volcanic rocks and seastacks

Blackwater Falls Autumn 2016

This past weekend, the family and I went to check out the fall foliage at Blackwater Falls State Park. It has become a little tradition for us! Some locales were past peak, and others hadn’t quite reached peak. An interesting year for sure as leaves are usually fully peak by the end of September. Here are the few images I captured from this year

Fall Foliage in the Canyon

Fall Foliage in the Canyon

Autumn leaves, dramatic clouds and mountains in a back country road in West Virginia

Autumn leaves, dramatic clouds and mountains in a back country road in West Virginia

Sunset at Lindy Point

Sunset at Lindy Point

Sunset at Lindy Point

Sunset at Lindy Point

Air Force Memorial’s 10 Year Anniversary

Last week, the Air Force Memorial celebrated its 10 year anniversary and I had the honor of photographing the event. The event included an amazing performance by the Air Force Memorial Band, a former American Idol contestant, speeches by distinguished guests, two flyovers, and a video presentation by former President George Bush. Also, Deborah James, the Secretary of the Air Force, was named an honorary Tuskeegee Airman for her role in supporting the group’s objectives. It was a really good time, and I was glad I was there to capture it for this important memorial.

Air Force Memorial 10 Year Anniversary

Air Force Memorial 10 Year Anniversary

Air Force Memorial 10 Year Anniversary

Air Force Memorial 10 Year Anniversary

Air Force Memorial 10 Year Anniversary

Air Force Memorial 10 Year Anniversary

Air Force Memorial 10 Year Anniversary

Air Force Memorial 10 Year Anniversary

Air Force Memorial 10 Year Anniversary

Air Force Memorial 10 Year Anniversary

Air Force Memorial 10 Year Anniversary

Air Force Memorial 10 Year Anniversary

Full Moon over the National Museum of African American History and Culture

On Sunday night, I captured the rising full moon as it rose beautifully over the National Museum of African American History and Culture. I used the lit path to lead the viewer into the image and used two exposures to capture the foreground and moon.

The full moon rises over the African American History Museum in Washington DC

The full moon rises over the African American History Museum in Washington DC

Sunset at the Memorials with IGDC

Last night I met up with the IGDC crew for the first time! Nice to finally meet some of the photogs I had been following on Instagram. The sunset wasn’t too bad either. I tried some new angles and some other more traditional ones… hope you enjoy!

An ND filter warms colors and softens textures at sunset at the Lincoln Memorial reflecting pool

An ND filter warms colors and softens textures at sunset at the Lincoln Memorial reflecting pool

Cool and warm tones at sunset at the World War II Memorial

Cool and warm tones at sunset at the World War II Memorial

Late evening sun illuminates the pillars of the Jefferson Memorial

Late evening sun illuminates the pillars of the Jefferson Memorial

Serenity Now

Yesterday’s Sunset may not have been much compared to the previous days, but still was beautiful and serene as seen from great falls

Peaceful colors over a tranquil section of the Maryland side of Great Falls

Peaceful colors over a tranquil section of the Maryland side of Great Falls

Seattle Skyline

We recently returned from a family trip to Seattle! This makes two years in a row that we have traveled for my mom’s bday! We had a blast and have this takeaway from a late afternoon visit to Kerry Park. A gorgeous view to Mt. Rainer, surreal like the mountain is superimposed over a picture of the city! The park was kind of small, but sissy and I had fun pretending we were kids. Till next time…

Late afternoon sun illuminates Mt. Rainer as seen from Kerry Park in Seattle, Washington

Late afternoon sun illuminates Mt. Rainer as seen from Kerry Park in Seattle, Washington

Washington DC Union Station Photography

Last week, I met up with friend and photographer Angela Pan and two new photog friends Dave an Zack at Union Station! After checking out the sunset from the parking rooftop, after Dave asked for it, we were granted access to a cool perspective from behind the statues that adorn the elegant and historic transportation depot. I captured a straight on view to the U.S. Capitol and toyed with the intersection of lines in the ceiling of Union Station. Hope you enjoy em…

Union Station Washington DC

Union Station Washington DC

Union Station Washington DC

Union Station Washington DC

Union Station Washington DC

Union Station Washington DC

Lightning Storms in Washington DC

Last night I went shooting with my friend Angela Pan to capture storm photography near the city.The storms arrived right around sunset, which allowed for some nice light and color as the bolts struck. After the sun set, continuous bolts highlighted clouds behind the Air Force Memorial. While I would have loved to see some fork-like bolts, it still was a nice sight to see.

The moon peeks through clouds right before a torrential thunderstorm in Washington DC

The moon peeks through clouds right before a torrential thunderstorm in Washington DC

Lightning strikes over the U.S. Capitol and Jefferson Memorial in this composite of several lightning strike images

Lightning strikes over the U.S. Capitol and Jefferson Memorial in this composite of several lightning strike images

Lightning strikes behind dark clouds, revealing their shape and color over the Air Force Memorial

Lightning strikes behind dark clouds, revealing their shape and color over the Air Force Memorial

Summer Sunset at the Washington Monument

Tonight I met up with my friend and photographer/workshop extraordinaire, Michael Chinnici of Photo Workshop Adventures. After hanging for a bit, we headed to shoot sunset at the White House and Washington Monument. Just past sunset, some interesting clouds rolled in while subtle pinks took towards the horizon. A center comp seemed to be in order.

Enjoy the rest of summer!

Cumulus clouds surround the Washington Monument during a classic summer sunset

Cumulus clouds surround the Washington Monument during a classic summer sunset

Sunset at the Vietnam Memorial

A long exposure at as sun basks the Washington Monument from the Vietnam Memorial

A long exposure at as sun basks the Washington Monument from the Vietnam Memorial

I had planned this shot for a while and finally went out to capture it. Usually this is a spot for sunrise but I was looking for the monument to be basked in light and looked to use the crowd to add mood. Might try this one again still.

In Living Memory

Landscape Photography of Santorini

In June, we went on vacation to Greece. This was a leisurely trip to Greek Islands Mykonos and Santorini and a stop over in Athens before flying home. Through 8 nights, the trip proved to be a fair amount of time spent traveling. If I were to do it again, I’d maybe cut out Athens or spend more time overall.

During vacations, I don’t usually spend much time photographing. I like to keep photography trips and vacations with family as separate as possible. They have such different daily routines and sights to see, that I find it to be hard to concentrate on both. But, I bring my camera along nonetheless and see if there are opportunities to add to the portfolio.

During this trip, I took mostly portraits of us having fun.┬áI mixed that in with a little shooting in Santorini –sunrise and midnight shoots in Oia, where we were lucky enough to stay, and some shots from the boat tour of the Aegean Sea from Santorini. Ultimately, I only have landscape shots from Santorini – and more than I thought I would come away with! Hope you enjoy them and my views from a beautiful island destination.

 

Vibrant flowering trees and calla lillies line the architecture of Oia, Santorini as the sun warms the sky and landscape

Vibrant flowering trees and calla lillies line the architecture of Oia, Santorini as the sun warms the sky and landscape

The sun rises over a cloudless landscape from Oia in Santorini, Greece

The sun rises over a cloudless landscape from Oia in Santorini, Greece

A panoramic shows the layers of cave houses as they wrap around the ends of the island of Santorini at sunrise

A panoramic shows the layers of cave houses as they wrap around the ends of the island of Santorini at sunrise

Rows of cavehouses bathed in early morning light as seen from a view also including church bells and docked boats

Rows of cavehouses bathed in early morning light as seen from a view also including church bells and docked boats

A panoramic of early light streaming onto the cliffs of Oia, Santorini

A panoramic of early light streaming onto the cliffs of Oia, Santorini

Flowers adorn the edges of the walls near a church in Santorini

Flowers adorn the edges of the walls near a church in Santorini

An unassuming corner is adorned with vibrant orange paint and blooming, flowering trees

An unassuming corner is adorned with vibrant orange paint and blooming, flowering trees

The moon rises over the twilight landscape of Oia, Santorini

The moon rises over the twilight landscape of Oia, Santorini

The rows of cave houses as seen from the tip of Oia at midnight

The rows of cave houses as seen from the tip of Oia at midnight

Light reflected from rock shines in the Aegean Sea off of the coast of Sanorini

Light reflected from rock shines in the Aegean Sea off of the coast of Sanorini

Light reflected from rock shines in the Aegean Sea off of the coast of Sanorini

Light reflected from rock shines in the Aegean Sea off of the coast of Sanorini

A sailboat full of people witnessing the cloudless sunset in Santorini

A sailboat full of people witnessing the cloudless sunset in Santorini

A pan motion of a speeding sailboat just after sunset in Santorini

A pan motion of a speeding sailboat just after sunset in Santorini

A classic Santorini sunset with a twist. This is a blended image of one exposure for the sun and another, pan motion shot to create a interesting texture in the water

A classic Santorini sunset with a twist. This is a blended image of one exposure for the sun and another, pan motion shot to create a interesting texture in the water

Preview from Greece

A preview from Greece… more to come ­čÖé

The sun rises over a cloudless landscape from Oia in Santorini, Greece

The sun rises over a cloudless landscape from Oia in Santorini, Greece

Flashback Friday

#fbf to a more attractive Capitol dome under post sunset pinks and reds. Restoration should be finishing soon, thank God. Definitely less nice than the monument scaffolding froma few years ago. I right now I avoid shooting the Capitol like the plague

#washingtondc #dcweather #dcfocused #focused #exposeddc #igdc #dctography #instantdc #instagood #dccool #mydccool #uscapitol #dc #monuments #acreativedc

A spotlight illuminates the U.S. Capitol under pink and purple post-sunset clouds

A spotlight illuminates the U.S. Capitol under pink and purple post-sunset clouds

Photography for ABC 7 News Washington DC

Several months ago, I shot a scene on the Memorial Bridge for ABC 7 News’ dynamic weather background that viewers see during every forecast. After being Facebook friends with super TV personality and weatherman Steve Rudin for 5 years, I finally visited the ABC 7 studios in Rosslyn to meet Steve and the weather producer, Alex Liggitt and other notable personalities like Brian van de Graaff and Doug Hill. Everyone was super nice — especially Steve, who gave me the grand tour of the facility!

Check out the shots… woops about my collar ­čÖé

Next time you watch the weather, look out for my shot!

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