Aug 18 2009

Lions, Tigers, and a Baby at the DC Zoo

by posted in Trips

We met up with friends and their toddler at the DC Zoo last Sunday. The sun was out as well as the animals which allowed me to get some great shots.

Kristina and Russell sitting in the DC zoo sign
We had to take the tourist shot of sitting in the zoo sign.

Ella tipping her hat in her stroller
Baby Ella enjoyed posing for pictures in her stroller with her favorite hat.

Andrew and Ella walking at the DC Zoo
She also brings a spare when walking around.

Ella holding a hat in black and white

Lioness at the DC Zoo
This lioness was out from her den to see all the people gawking at her.

Tiger walking along water at the DC Zoo
I never realized tigers have such beady eyes which makes them look like they are always staring.

Elephant playing with a ball in the water at the DC Zoo
This baby elephant took a dip in the pool to play with the giant floating ball. At one point it jumped on top of the ball turning it into a floating device.

Baby monkey playing with hand
Kristina captured some moments in the ape house. This little guy was playing with his mother.

And this orangutan wanted everyone to see his teeth.

Ella and Russell wearing hats
The Clarke’s blogged about their day at the zoo as well as put up a photo gallery.

2 Responses
Jul 28 2009

Butterflies at Brookside Gardens

by posted in Trips

This past Sunday Kristina and I visited the Brookside Gardens in Glenmont, Maryland. The park is a mere mile from our apartment so we enjoyed a brisk walk there. The last time we visited was almost exactly one year ago but this time we decided to check out the Wings of Fancy live butterfly exhibit. I lugged my big macro lens around to get some close-up shots. I ended up taking close to 600 by the end of the day.

Stepping into the butterfly habitat was overwhelming as it was impossible to avoid groups of butterflies zig zagging all over. Some would even perch on your shoulder. Places like this are great to practice macro photography. Here are some of my shots.

Butterfly perched on a banana

Butterfly on red flower

Butterflies stuck on Russell

Water drops on a purple flower

After an hour of dodging various winged creatures (and packs of people for that matter) we decided to continue on outside. There was plenty of different wildlife hanging out around the pond. Like this family of turtles…

Three turtles on a rock

Kristina spotted this big, black, Rat Snake and while she wanted to run away as fast as she could, I wanted to take it’s picture.

Rat snake in the bushes at Brookside Gardens

We found a tree that was a caterpillar hotel. This one was chowing down on a green leaf.

Caterpillar eating a leaf at Brookside Gardens

The highlight of our day was spotting this Great Blue Heron up close. I stalked it for a long time and managed to snap 200 pictures just of this guy alone.

Great Blue Heron at Brookside Gardens

Of course we had to take a picture of just the two of us. In the background to the left is the Japanese Teahouse on the other side of the pond.

Russell and Kristina at Brookside Gardens

We had a great day visiting an exhibit we had never seen before, getting plenty of exercise in, and even enjoying our packed picnic lunch in the Japanese Teahouse that Kristina packed for us. It was just what we needed to get a break from the wedding planning.

3 Responses
Jul 22 2009

Wedding Dress: Purchased!

by posted in Wedding

Last Saturday I picked out and purchased my wedding dress at Brides Against Breast Cancer.  Brides Against Breast Cancer is a non-profit organization that sells discounted wedding dresses to benefit the Making Memories Breast Cancer Foundation.  I was able to not only find my wedding dress there, but I found a veil and tiara to match. I found out about the event in an article in The Washington Times which went on to explain “Brides Against Breast Cancer gowns typically sell for $400 to $800, a fraction of the retail price. Some gowns are worth as much as $8,000 … Many brides are looking for a deal, as well as a way to help someone. “  Finding my wedding dress is truly the icing on my wedding cake. Oh yeah cake … I still have a lot more planning to do!


This is just half of the dresses they brought to the event at The Westin Hotel in Arlington, VA.


This is my Mom getting my dress, veil and tiara! The man in the back is putting my dress in the protective cover! NO peeking!


I got my wedding dress and we helped Brides Against Breast Cancer! ( From Left to Right: Me, my Mom and Dad)

2 Responses
Jul 12 2009

July 4th Vacation

by posted in Trips

Every 4th of July Kristina and I venture to Ocean City, Maryland, to hang out with friends and spend time on the beach. It has been a tradition dating back at least 5 years. This year we did lots of different things.

Kristina and I riding bikes on the Ocean City boardwalk.
In the morning bike riders are welcome on the boardwalk so Kristina and I rented some bikes and took a stroll from 28th street to the beginning of the boardwalk and back. It took us just under an hour.

Outside the Jolly Roger amusement park for some miniture golf.
Jolly Rogers Amusement Park offers unlimited mini-golf on their two courses until 6pm. Their mini-golf was alright, but it was no Old Pro Golf course.

Playing with Katie Emery's nieces and nephew on the beach in Ocean City.
Every year we hang out and play with some family friends on the beach. I was in the middle of digging a really deep hole with the youngest one, Gracie.

We're totally tubular, bro!
Kristina and I tried our hand at boogie boarding though it was hit or miss. Taking this picture sure was easy though.

Cops about to tow away a car whose alarm was blaring all night long.
One night we watched the cops tow away a car whose alarm was going off every 5 minutes all night long. The owner eventually came out after it was hooked up to the tow truck. The tow truck took a half-an-hour to turn around in the small street. The car owner didn’t look to happy but we were all cheering from the balcony.

Outside eating all you can eat crabs (I ordered steak) at the Crab Bag.
All you can eat crab feast at the Crab Bag. I ordered a steak and was finished before anyone got their first plate of crabs.

Group picture outside of the Crab Bag before heading off to the fireoworks.
Group picture of the gang after gorging crabs.

On the porch of the Emery's being patriotic.
Before heading out to the fireworks we had to take a patriotic picture on the porch of Katie Emery’s beach house. From left to right (Katie Emery, Ben Miller, Pammy Smith, Kristina Naude, Russell Heimlich)

Lounging around with a group of friends shortly before the Ocean City fireowrks.
One of my favorite parts of the trip was lounging around on the grass waiting for darkness to fall so the fireworks could begin.

July 4th fireworks in Ocean City.
This was one of the few years in recent memories that the weather cooperated for the fireworks. They were mesmorizing as they exploded in the sky especially the grand finale.

We certainly had a great getaway filled with friends and fun. I can’t wait for what is in store for next year.

Posts from previous years:

1 Response
Jun 21 2009

Wedding Photographer: Booked!

by posted in Wedding

After much searching and scrutinizing of portfolios, Kristina and I have chosen JPG Photography to photograph our wedding. Since photography is a hobby of mine it was a natural fit for me to take the lead in the hunt for the perfect photographer. Browsing online portfolios can be hit or miss but JPG Photography’s portfolio stood out from the crowd. Their photos are well composed and interesting. The amount of polish and colors that pop really resonated with my own photography values.

Speaking with Joe, the owner of JPG, on the phone sealed the deal as he was very easy to talk with. His fly-on-the-wall documentary style and vision aligned with our idea for the perfect photographer. Apparently we aren’t the only ones who see the excellence that Joe can bring to an event.

Below are some of our favorite shots from JPG’s Blog:

Bride and Groom in front of City Hall in Philadelphia

Couple posing in church

Wedding couple in front of National Cathedral

Hanging Wedding Dress

Cake cutting kiss.

Sparkler exit (black and white)

Bride posing on a couch.

Groom jumps for joy with bride.

Couple cuddling (black and white)

P.S. We tried to get this guy but his schedule was a bit tight.
Barack Obama with Canon 5D

1 Response