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Monico Havier
10,999 followers -
Photographer and Graphic Designer
Photographer and Graphic Designer

10,999 followers
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Monico's posts

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the Tree of Life (HDR) | Disney's Animal Kingdom

It's been a while since I've stretched my HDR legs - but when I saw the three bracketed shots I took of the Tree of Life (at Disney's Animal Kingdom) I thought I'd give it a go.
Here's my Tree of Life HDR image from my recent visit to Walt Disney World Resort:
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Eiffel Tower (black and white) | Paris, France

Today I'm channeling my inner +Steve Kalman by sharing a black and white image from my trip to Paris.
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Westminster Abbey at Night | London, UK

Here's a shot from my night time walk around London, England. This is Westminster Abbey and it was magnificent! I first visited the Church of England (Royal Peculiar) on my first day in London and got to see the North and East exteriors. I've seen some pretty nice churches and cathedrals in the US but I've never seen anything like this.

With so little time in London I didn't get a chance to go inside but I did get to return on my last night to take a few long exposure pictures. I'm not sure when I'll get to return, but this incredible landmark is high on my list of places to come back to and really explore.

I've also posted this shot to my +500px page here:
https://500px.com/photo/209118239/


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Washington Monument | Washington, DC

Here's the companion shot to yesterday's National Museum of African American History & Culture image.

I took this shot from the exact same spot as the NMAAHC image but turned my camera towards the iconic Washington Monument instead. I love the highly reflective marble wall that stands outside the Smithsonian Museum. It's one of the only things I know of that gives me such a clear reflection for the bottom half of my shot (the lake at Constitution Gardens gives a nice reflection but you can't see the entire Washington Monument because of the trees).

Another nice plus for this shot was the flaring from the inexpensive 16mm lens I used. Sometimes I like flare and sometimes I don't, but I thought it worked well here. The Sony 16mm f2.8 (pancake) lens is tiny and can be had for less than $250. It's not overly sharp, doesn't deal with flare very well and it has enough distortion to make most pro photographers cringe - but when you know what you're dealing with it's not difficult to take advantage of what it does well - capturing a decently wide angle of view while being super tiny and light. Additionally, most of the lenses shortcomings can easily be dealt with in post so this lens is one of my favorite "walk around" lenses to keep attached to my camera.
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Smithsonian Museum of African American History & Culture | Washington, DC

Last night I took a walk around the National Mall (in Washington, DC) and just enjoyed what a beautiful city this is. It was perfect weather to be out for a walk and, since it's early April, it wasn't very crowded at all. Just a perfect night to be out enjoying this amazing city.

Here's a new shot from last night's walk of the new Smithsonian Museum of African American History & Culture:
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One of my favorite days of the year has always been baseball's opening day. I've been lucky to see as many as I have in my life (in person) and this year I got to see another.

Here's a shot just before four f-18's flew over the field:
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a New Profile Picture

A lot can change in just four years. One thing that hasn't changed, however, has been the profile picture I've used across all of my social media. The shot I've been using has been around since 2013. My gear has changed since then (and so have I) so it was time to create a brand new profile picture.

Lots of people know that I've been transitioning from my big DSLR gear to some new mirrorless gear. I love the results I've been achieving from such a small (and light) kit. So far I've been using my mirrorless gear for product, travel, landscape and architectural work. I've also rediscovered how much fun video work is (but that's a story for another day). One thing I haven't experimented with is portrait work.

For my portrait work I've always used full frame (or larger) sensor cameras with long lenses (85mm or higher) and I've always loved the results. I wasn't sure if my small sensor mirrorless camera and a medium length lens would get me the look I was hoping for so I set up a small headshot studio in my office and had a little "selfie" photoshoot to see what the new gear could do.

One thing I absolutely love about my new gear (compared to my old DSLR's) was the out-of-this-world face detecting focusing system and the live-view I get when connected to an external monitor. Getting good selfie shots with my old optical viewfinder system (and no live view) was a total challenge. The new mirrorless system was a whole lot of fun, by comparison. Once again my preconceived notions about my tiny camera were blown away. The latest crop of small mirrorless cameras continues to impress me.

Here's my new profile picture captured with a Sony APS-C mirrorless camera using a 50mm f1.8 lens.

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Bao Bao | My Favorite Giant Panda

I know I keep telling my G+ followers how busy I am and believe me - it's so true. But even though my time is limited I made sure to get down to the National Zoo to see my favorite giant panda, Bao Bao, one last time before she departs for her new home in China.

Long time followers of mine know that I watched her come in to the world (by "panda cam") and was there to photograph her a few weeks before she made her public debut. I was also there to cover her naming day (which was AWESOME). Over the last three years I made a lot of visits to the National Zoo to follow her growth and she was a real joy to see in person.

Now that she's leaving I'm left with a feeling of deep sadness because she was the first panda born at the National Zoo after I moved here. She has a brother, Bei Bei, who will be here for about another year - but he will never replace my favorite panda cub...

You can also see this shot over on my 500px page here:

https://500px.com/photo/198199267/
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the Arc de Triumphe (at night) | Paris France

What a busy year I've had! It's been work, work, work and more work along with a lot of travel (mostly for work but there have been some super fun trips as well). I've been home from my London/Paris/Disneyland Paris adventure for close to two months now and I've shared less than 20 shots so far.

Anyone that knows me well knows that I'm not shy about capturing a whole lot of images when I travel but this was my first trip across the pond. I captured literally thousands of images! I had no idea if I would like every image but I didn't want to come home with regrets so I did my best to fill my memory cards while still enjoying myself.

It's a delicate balance because you want to photograph everything but you also need to experience the trip with your senses (and not through a camera viewfinder). Long story short, I have enough shots to keep me sharing images for the next few years - if I can just find the time to sit down and do a little editing...

Here's a quick shot of the Arc de Triomphe (in Paris, France).

If you'd like to see this shot over on my +500px page I posted it here:

https://500px.com/photo/189198823

#arcdetriomphe #travelphotography #longexposure #paris #france
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I know I've been too busy to share some full-length posts from my recent adventures in London, Paris and Disneyland Paris here on Google+ and that really bums me out. The good news is - I have been (slowly) adding pictures from my trip to my 500px galleries. So far I have two I've been adding to with my Paris gallery getting a few more right now. I'll do my best to keep adding images and, if all goes well, I'll get to share some more of my favorite images here soon.

If you'd like to see some of my Paris shots you can find there here:

https://500px.com/monicozphotography/galleries/paris
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