sunset in DC
she's like fire
studio portrait using two strobes

fitness November Project Philadelphia
taken at Rittenhouse Square park with NP Philly workout group during the burnout phase of the workout.
tulips at City Hall
walked around City Hall yesterday and took some pics of tulips. i'm sure you've seen enough photos of tulips lit by sun, so contrary to the popular picturing style, i used the haze from sun to get this 'high-key' image. this would've been so much better if it was in the morning, but you gotta do what you gotta do, right?
city hall Philadelphia
on a cold saturday evening after a snow, I walked around the city with a friend taking photos. we started at City Hall and walked to the Art Museum. and then back to City Hall on Ben Franklin parkway. toward the end, we walked on Broad St toward Walnut St where I took this photo of her capturing the 'iconic' statue of William Penn at the top of the tower. 
colorful blossoms
this was a photo from April 2020 in Washington, DC. the most popular cherry blossom photos we always see are the pink. i thought this was a contrasting photo with differently saturated blossoms over blue sky. 
one Friday evening, I walked around Philly with a photographer friend in October 2020. it wasn't cold yet, and the weather was good for a long walk in the city. we talked about photography, how to capture photos in dark, composition, and as the night fell, we were at Ben Franklin Bridge that connects Philly with Camden.
walking among blossoms
this was a photo from last year in DC when I braved COVID-19 and walked along the tidal basin to take pictures of cherry blossoms. it was a windy day and the weather was perfect with 60 degree temperature and a slight humidity. i was alone, considering the pandemic contrary to usual cherry blossom walks when I am accompanied by friends, models, or people who want to get their photo with the scenery. tidal basin is a two mile loop around MLK Memorial, FDR Memorial, and Jefferson Memorial. the entire length of this loop is filled with these trees and early spring every year is a sight to behold. on windy days like that one, the petals falling from the trees and flapping around in the air makes this even more appealing. near Jefferson memorial I found this lady walking in front of me taking in the beautiful sights from the cherry blossoms. the wind billowing her hair with the blossoms was a great sight and i wanted to ask her to pose for me. but i didn't want to make her uncomfortable. so i let her pass me and took a photo of her from the back so people can't tell who she is, she can maintain her privacy, but i can still show my viewers the great day. it was a challenging photo considering how fast everything was moving, but i was able to capture this one.
i took this photo in early Spring of 2020. COVID-19 was in full effect and the city was abandoned, but Tidal Basin, not so much. at first, I had decided to skip cherry blossoms altogether. but one friday evening, having nothing to do, I went to see them. this particular spot is near the FDR memorial. it felt ominous. like it's telling me what is coming. we 'read' photos like we read words. left to right. and in this photo from left to right, we see blossoms on full display and the dead tree. i had to move around that spot to get this specific shot. a perfect juxtaposition of the blossoms and the dead tree, but the challenge was positioning the monument in the center. there are some photos where the mood tells the story. like hard sunlight, dark stormy skies, tough winds blowing over everything, or something like that. but this one, the time when it was taken tells the story. without April 2020, it's just a photo of blossoms and dead tree in DC. but the April 2020 adds so much more.
cherry blossoms
this was a photo from late March 2019. a perfect spring morning, not a speck of cloud in the sky and harsh sunlight hitting the capital. i like this photo a lot not just because of the cherry blossoms. the monument positioned in a frame formed by the blossoms, the shadow/highlight in the blossoms, and clear blue sky. still takes me back to that day.
wings of light
the center of Philadelphia is the intersection of Broad Street and Market Street. and at this intersection is the City Hall. the south side of the Broad St between Market St and Walnut St is a designated cultural district of this city. per avenueofhearts.org, this is the signature street of Philadelphia. i took this photo of Myriam from Walnut St and Broad St at around 8 PM. this block of South St has many cultural highlights ranging from museums, art galleries, theaters, film and music production avenues, and shopping spots. the facades on this avenue are lit by lights of different color that makes this a place to go for a walk at night. when I thought about this photo, i wanted to have this vibrant background against her 'bland' black shirt and blue jeans. during post processing, i was impressed by the balance of light in the photo. i thought her face would be in shadows, considering all the lights hitting the camera from behind her. i particularly liked how the light from the cars behind her separated her from the background. and the lamp posts diverging from her shoulders look like wings as commented by a friend on my Instagram post. the color would distract the viewer from all this and i didn't want that. so i left it in black and white.
when i was thinking about a tagline for my website, the word 'freeze' kept coming back to me. i am sure we've all been there when the photographer says 'freeze' just before pressing the shutter and we all would be frozen. granted it was required in older days when we all had limited film. but even with DSLRs the word freeze has not lost its colloquiality. how many times we say freeze with our camera phones asking friends to hold, when there is absolutely no need to? then it occurred to me, we're not freezing our subjects, we're freezing time...

high shutter speed quick burst shot in natural light

two studio strobes one on red and another on cyan-ish

Photo from last shoot with Hannah
what do colors mean? there is something about color that entices us. as pristine as black and white pictures are, we still look for color in our world. there are many theories about how and what colors mean to us and the stories they tell. like blue is supposed to distant and aloof compared to red which is inviting and energetic. this two tone portrait of Hannah challenges you because of the opposing effects of these two colors in the same photo.
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