A couple weeks ago, I was feeling exhausted and overwhelmed. Danny had been grouchy and tantrumy for a few days, and I was tired. One evening I put him to bed around 7, and considered going to sleep as well. Then I decided that I would feel happier if I went out and created something instead. So I grabbed my tripod and a camera with a fisheye lens, and stood in the middle of the children’s fountain in Lake Anne Plaza. Then I felt rejuvenated.
This first photo was taken at ISO 400, 4 seconds, f/8. The long exposure created a blur of falling water in the fountain. The smallish aperture made sure that most of the image was in focus.
There were several people dining outside at the restaurants that surround the fountain. I got right in the water and gave them a good show. No one said anything to me except for the little girl who was playing in the fountain while I was shooting. She was about six and was drenched. I was almost as wet as she was.
“WHAT are you doing?” she asked, clearly puzzled by this strange grown-up invading her fountain. “Taking pictures,” was my simple response. “Why?” was her obvious next question. I didn’t really have an answer to that. I just chuckled and told her that it made perfect sense to me.
Yesterday afternoon a big storm swept through Reston. The skies went dark at 4:30pm, and the trees bent sideways. We watched from our window as the heavy rains hit the lake. The whole thing blew over in about 15 minutes.
What we didn’t know was that less than half a mile from our house, the storm was tearing up our neighbors’ homes. The Washington Post reported that at least one tornado touched down in the Reston area, although Fairfax County denies that it was a tornado. When I saw the damage that had happened to our neighbors’ street, I was inclined to believe the Washington Post. Something very tornado-like touched down on South Shore Road here at Lake Anne. Several houses and cars were crushed by huge fallen trees, and debris was everywhere. The whole area was chaos.
Mike, Danny, and I took a walk through the area last night, and again this morning. A street that we know well and love has been ravaged by this storm. We can’t believe how fortunate we were to be so close to the worst of the storm, but unaffected by it. Our entire street is just fine. I wish our neighbors on South Shore were so lucky.
I saw this high-five last night during Lake Anne Plaza’s live jazz performance. I like living in a place where dogs take kayaks to concerts.
This photo was pure luck. I had my camera pointing in the right direction as the two of them decided to high-five. They didn’t know I was watching, but I’m glad I was. Don’t you love when it works like that?
I’ve been sick for the last week and a half, with a bad cold that has made my chest hurt. Bronchitis, perhaps? I haven’t exercised during that time, and I’ve actually enjoyed the excuse to be lazy and lie on the couch. Yesterday morning I felt much better, so I got up at 6am desperately seeking an excuse not to go out and run. Oh hooray! It was raining! I grabbed a book and some coffee, and read on the couch for a couple hours until Mike and Danny woke up.
This morning I woke up early, feeling good and hoping for rain. Unfortunately it was a beautiful day. I looked at my book and considered scrapping the run and reading on the couch again. I’m really enjoying this book. (It’s ironic that I didn’t want to run because I was too engrossed in the book Born to Run.) But I was healthy, it wasn’t raining, and the heat wave is over. I was out of excuses. Now I needed to work on getting my exercise motivation back.
For me, finding motivation to exercise comes in three steps:
We decided to have what Mike calls a Random Day yesterday. He says some of the best ideas originate from unexpected experiences. We took a lot of random road trips when we lived in Colorado, back before we had a baby and we could just drive into the mountains with no agenda. I love those memories.
We ended up spending our Fourth of July in Berkeley Springs, West Virginia, and then back home at our neighborhood in Reston.
Mike and I spent the day with my parents and our niece and nephews. A summer day doesn’t get any better than a water park, a pizza picnic, banana splits, dining al fresco by a lake, an outdoor concert, and lots of time with family.
This is a great shot that my Dad took of me with my two nephews at the Water Mine here in Reston. This park is so much fun for the kids that we’ve taken them there twice this week. And as you can see, it’s also fun for at least one grown-up I know.
Our gorgeous Saturday continued with lake time with my family. My parents, brother, sister-in-law, niece, and nephews came over for a dinner and games on the boat. As we drifted along the lake, I looked around at my family and wished I could bottle that day and keep it forever.
I took this photo early in the morning here at Lake Anne. It’s a family of geese swimming through the mist rising off the lake. The babies were just tiny newborns.
The sun was coming in low from the right, and the geese were swimming toward an area shaded by trees. I placed myself at at angle where the geese were in the transition between light and shade. I chose a large aperture to create very little depth of field, to keep the fog soft. I wanted only the geese and their trail to be in focus. I could have zoomed in closer, but I chose this wide angle to give the sense that this family had the lake all to themselves.
This was my view at the end of a yoga class, when I was supposed to have my eyes closed in corpse pose. The reflection of all the corpses overhead was too cool for me not keep my eyes open and enjoy it. What can I say, I’m more visual than spiritual, I guess.
I got up early Sunday morning to check out the Love Your Body yoga festival at Reston Town Center. Then I spent the afternoon with my family on the lake. Yet another great day.
Morning light on the fountain, combined with winds that blew the water sideways. The result was a kayaker in a rainbow. Magic.
I imagined this photo before it happened. This boy was kayaking near the plaza, and I hoped he’d approach the rainbow in the fountain. I stood opposite the fountain and waited. Sure enough, he paddled toward the fountain. (Kids always do!) I waited until he was near the bottom of the rainbow and facing the sunlight, and clicked.
Hi, I’m Charlotte! I’m a photographer in Reston, Virginia. I love hiking, running, and exploring the world with my husband and young son.