Saturday, July 5, 2014

Independence Day Fireworks in DC - A Night of Risk and Reward

July 4, 2014 - After hanging out on the Georgetown Waterfront in the afternoon, I got on my bike and headed toward the Lincoln Memorial as I knew that the Independence Day Fireworks were going to be launched at the reflecting pool at 9:10pm. I made my way through Rock Creek and Potomac Parkway, intending to get onto Arlington Memorial Bridge. It turns out the area just before the Lincoln Memorial was blocked. So with about an hour left before the fireworks started, I could either stay where I was or take a chance and bike over 50/66 and around to Memorial Bridge, and I chose the latter. I thought that the view would be better from the bridge.

I arrived in good time and had time to prepare to photograph the fireworks. I brought everything I needed in my large backpack, yet as I was setting things up, I realized that when I transferred some gear from my larger backpack to a small backpack that I didn't bring my camera tripod plate to securely fasten the camera to my tripod with the camera plate.  I also realized that I had an older cable release, so it was going to work with this particular camera that I brought. I even read posts from Scott Kelby and Joe McNally about photographing fireworks, so I knew what to expect. Time is of the essence and at times photographers are in a rush and can forget things. It's important to lay gear out and ensure everything is packed for a shoot. Originally I was going to bring both my larger and smaller backpacks, even while riding my bike, but I opted for traveling light and intended to bring the essentials of what I needed. I was disappointed, especially as it was too late to go back to my larger backpack in my car, but I was going to do what I could with what I had at the moment.

So I waited till the first launching of the fireworks and then kept clicking away to capture the glorious fireworks. I could hear music in the background and the oohs and ahhs of the crowd gathered to behold the fireworks and celebrate the Independence of the United States of America.

I think the photos came out pretty well, considering I was resting my camera on my tripod and using the camera's timer and a slow shutter speed. The pictures looked okay from the back of my camera, but the real test was in downloading my pictures and seeing them on my monitor. I was rather pleased with the results and learned some lessons for next time. Without some risk and pressing on when things seem hopeless, there may not be a reward in the end, and I'm glad I decided to press on to do what I can in getting the best shots I could, considering everything. Happy Birthday America!


Welcome to CityCenterDC

June 29, 2014 - I'm thankful to have spent some time with friends, acquaintances and friends of friends on the rooftop of the residences of CityCenterDC. I was invited to this party and appreciated the views, conversations, food and drink. I'm impressed with what they've done with CityCenterDC. I like the modern appeal and use of green space. It's about time DC has something like this, and I can't wait to see how things develop more in this area and see how it grows. Hopefully this kind of development will inspire others.

I brought my compact camera with me as this was a casual gathering, and I took some pictures to capture my experience in exploring this amazing development. Since the party was on the rooftop, I just took exterior shots, yet I enjoyed seeing what I could do with my compact camera in capturing the beauty of this place. 


The Return of Bikini Revolution featuring Tala Raassi and Dar Be Dar benefiting Becky's Fund

June 27, 2014 - With the Summer season here, things are bound to heat up, and it did with the third annual "Bikini Revolution" featuring Tala Raassi's latest S/S '14/'15 looks.

As with the previous Bikini Revolution events, this was held at the modern yet rustic and very chic L2 Lounge in Georgetown DC. Beautiful ladies in high fashion swimwear lounged and walked around mingling with guests and posed for photographs. In this semblance of paradise, there is a reality of the cause that this event benefits which is called Becky's Fund. It is an organization that combats domestic violence and provides support for victims and their families. Proceeds from the donations at the door and swimsuit sales will benefit this worthy cause. Those who donated at the door received raffle tickets for prizes.


The models in this fashion presentation and show were mostly women who have competed in pageants, and they are used to being seen in a bikini when competing. Since the models were already in their outfits, there wasn't much emphasis placed on the fashion show portion. In lighting the event and for the show, the venue is normally dark with accents of mood lighting around. I decided to set up two speedlight flashes on light stands in the main area and triggered them with my Flex TT5 and Pocket Wizard Plus II Tranceivers. Looking back on the photos, I probably should have increased my shutter speed a bit to make sharper captures, but I also wanted to allow the lighting to brighten up the area enough to be able to show off the swimsuits.   


Thank you to the Host Committee for helping to make this event happen. 
John Paul Storer Hamilton
Michelle Gloden Schoenfeld of Renu Med Spa and Facial Plastic Surgery
Anchyi Wei
Laura J. Curtis
Amanda Jones
Fran Holuba
Mujesira Dudić
Therese Quiao
Amelia Caresse Wolfe
Tahera Zamanzada
Eve Monica, Founder Sip With Socialites
Rachel Wang Pang
Ashley Darby