Designer & Photographer

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Sometimes

Sometimes... You plan a camping trip in June, and its 93 degrees of sweaty summer heat. Sometimes you even get a thunderstorm on top of that. You leave Northern Virginia with a goal of catching sunset from Crescent Rock Overlook in Shenandoah National Park, but traffic delays arrival until well after the moon has risen. You wait for the night sky to reveal a wondrous starry night sky, only to have clouds roll in, obscuring the Milky Way. You plan to hike to up to the top of a mountain with some of your closest friends, but life gets in the way, and you're relegated to, "Wish I could, but some other time guys!" You aim to build, "the biggest fire the North has ever seen," but run out of dry firewood by 9 o'clock, and end up cold in the dark.

But this time... The campfire burned through the night. We shared laughs over a picnic from a summit with an incredible view. The clouds part, and the Milky Way shows itself to the naked eye. Traffic eased enough to allow us to see all of sunset's beautiful colors in the valley below. Days of humidity melt away, and we were left with a perfect weekend in June.

Super Blood Wolf Moon

I’m far from the first person in history to find the moon to be an interesting subject but there’s something fascinating about the earth’s baby sister rock, that circles our existence, lights up our nights, and follows our journeys around the sun. Whether the day has been a good one, a bad one, or one that falls somewhere in-between, it’s always there. There’s something comforting about that consistency.

That’s probably why, when Earth began to pass between the sun and our moon on the evening that connected the days of January 20 and 21, I ran upstairs (much to Lauren’s surprise), grabbed my gear, and found myself out in my neighborhood’s parking lot setting up a tripod with quickly numbing fingers.

I took a few test shots at varying focal lengths, played with exposure settings to varying degrees of success, and ultimately snapped a few frames in hopes that one or two might turn out.

Sunflowers & Bumblebees

McKee-Beshers Wildlife Management Area in Maryland boasts public hunting land. Each year, large fields full of sunflowers are planted to attract game birds and wildlife. It's beautiful.

Plan your visit sometime in June or July to witness peak bloom of the sunflowers.

Much Anticipated Debuts

DC United was one of 10 clubs to kickoff the inaugural MLS season in 1996, when they opened their season at RFK Stadium. The league's early early featured a series of dominant performances by United, as they won the MLS Cup three of the league's first four seasons, taking home the Supporters' Shield (for best regular season record) in two of those seasons.

Audi Field from Potomac Ave.

Over the ensuing 22 years, DC's success stalled as many new clubs were added to the league (there are now 23), new soccer-specific stadiums provided new revenue streams, an influx of European and South American talent raised the level of competition, and DC tussled again and again with the city government in hopes of getting a home of their own.

They finally have one: Audi Field. Its debut on July 14, 2018 against the Vancouver Whitecaps, just so happened to coincide with the debut of England and Manchester United legend Wayne Rooney, DC's new number nine, and its most expensive player expenditure to date.

DC United descends to the locker rooms after warm-ups for final preparations.

DC United's new number nine: Wayne Rooney.

The event played out as the team might've hoped: offering fantastic sight lines, a steep grandstand keeping fans close to the action, a packed house, and a victory by the United.

Mere minutes into his debut, Rooney was presented with a juicy free kick opportunity (he drilled it into the wall).

Rooney made his eagerly awaited debut in the 57th minute and made an immediate impact. Shortly after running onto the pitch, he launched a juicy free kick from 25 yards into the wall, linking up with his teammates during a tiki-taka-esque sequence leading to DC's second goal, almost scoring a goal of his own on a looping header, and eventually contributing an assist for DC's third and final goal.

The game eventually ended with a 3-1 victory for United, sending the standing room-only crowd of 20,504 home happy, and ensuring a successful debut for the two newest pieces of shiny for DC United.

Postgame fireworks to punctuate the victory.

Cherry Blossoms

Midway through March, Erica, Brandon, and I decided it was time to end our hiatus, and get together for an early morning of fun with cherry blossoms at the Tidal Basin. While I was able to find some good light and make some nice images, it wasn't the smoothly executed meetup that we might have otherwise expected...

An outing that was originally scheduled for late March shifted at least twice due to weather and bloom delays (turns out we hit "peak bloom" perfectly!). The morning itself was quite chilly, and despite being April, I found myself pulling my long johns out of the closet for (hopefully) one last time. I arrived first, and found Brandon without incident. Unfortunately though, we ended up in a bit of cell service dead zone, and Erica had trouble finding us. Once she found us, Erica quickly realized that she had forgotten to bring a fully-charged camera battery, and to add to that, her phone battery was almost dead (luckily she was able to get a few choice shots before the juice ran out).

All was not lost though, as the three of us enjoyed our first photographic get together in quite some time, and some memorable images were captured.