Washington DC

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The White House is by far the most difficult landmark to photograph in Washington DC. It’s also the reason why I don’t have many images of it on my site. And in the past couple of years it’s gotten even harder. There have been so many restrictions on where you can walk around or even stand. Its kinda crazy compared to what it used to be.

Thankfully, my friend Christa has the hook up at her job and we were able to go to her work’s rooftop and capture it from there. But even there it was still a little sketchy. She let me know that we may get warnings from the White House just for having our tripods out… on the rooftop… a block away. But in the end, we had no troubles. Thank you Secret Service!

For this image, I used my 70-200mm lens to capture it all. It was the only lens I had on this whole rooftop adventure. I just love the way it compressed all the layers and what’s even more shocking is all the great details you can in the buildings in the very back. That’s Rosslyn, VA in case you were wondering. *shock face emoji* LOL.

What’s even better is that there are 5 american flags in this image. Can you find them all? The last two may be a little more difficult to find but I love seeing little surprises like that.

My camera settings for this image is F5.6 at 1/60th of a second and ISO 1600 with my Sony A7II and 70-20mm zoom lens. I specifically remember thinking that I wanted to create a stop motion effect with the American flag in the foreground so that is why my ISO is so high. The sun was setting and the light was already pretty dark. It had to be a real quick shutter.

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After our first snow of the season, I knew I had to wake up early the next morning and capture the sunrise. Somehow I knew it was going to be a good one. We had 2 days of really grey days so I knew the clouds were going to have to break up and bring in some of the sun light.

But this was not the image I intended to capture. I had every intention of shooting at the Tidal Basin. I thought it would be cool to see how the water did in the snow. Did it freeze over? or was there any snow still on the cherry blossom trees? I dunno. I wasn’t able to drive over there since all the roads around the National Mall was blocked off. I’m not sure why, but I’m thinking it was for some kind of parade or marathon. I’ve tried googling it and still can’t find the answer. Oh well.

So I drove over to the Capitol and figured it would be just as nice. I spent the morning just walking all around the Capitol grounds, blasting my music with no headphones. LOL it was awesome. There was hardly anyone around and it felt like I had the whole Capitol to myself. I felt so free to just walk anywhere I wanted to and was so happy when I stumbled onto this compass. I’ve noticed it before but never saw how reflective it is. I guess the melting snow made for great puddles in here. Love finding hidden gems like this. One thing I didn’t notice while taking this picture was the guy walking in front of the Capitol building. I love how he adds some scale to the whole thing. Yea, the US Capitol building is hugeeee.

My camera settings for this image is F5.6 at 1/80th of a second ISO 160 with my Sony A7II 16-35mm wide angle lens.

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This was taken early morning on the Saturday of Thanksgiving weekend. That’s a lot of cars, huh? I was pretty surprised by how many people were out so early in the morning, especially on a holiday weekend. They must have known it was going to be a good sunrise too 🙂 Why else would people wake up if they weren’t taking pictures, right?

Not sure what actually drew me to taking this image but I think it turned out pretty awesome. I love how the street lights are so evenly spaced with the Washington Monument. I also think it is really cool to see the car light trails on either side of the image and the glow of the lights on the railings. Is it crazy to say with so much movement going on in this image that it actually gives me some peace when I’m looking at it? I find the peace when I’m looking at the reflection of the monument in the water and the nearly clear sky. I love the orange glow that’s going on the right side of the image and I wonder if the cars passing by even notice it. I think it’s easy for people who live in this area to be sort of dismiss these views but I think they are spectacular. I love photographing this city!

My camera settings for this image is F/9 at 2.5 seconds and ISO 200 with my Sony A7II and 16-35mm lens on my gitzo tripod.

As a side note, it is completely safe to capture this image. But I find it weird that I can feel the cars passing by as I’m standing on Kutz Memorial Bridge and that little bit of rumbling doesn’t effect the focus or sharpness of the image. Does anyone know why that’s the case?

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Monday mornings. Usually people dread it. Me, I love them. I love what I do and when weekend plans don’t get in the way of doing what I love, I can’t help but welcome the day with open arms.

Although this past Monday started superrr early. I’m talking 3a wake up call. Y’all know me and how I’m a morning person, but I’m also a person who likes to sleep through the whole night. LOL. My friend, Larry, told me he was going to go to the National Mall to try to capture the super moon setting, so I had to get up and join him. The moon was alright, but the sunrise was amazing!

So we met up by the WWII memorial and had plans of capturing the super moon over the Lincoln Memorial and use the Reflecting Pool for the reflection of it all. What’s better than a super moon image? 2 super moons in one shot! I still think the images turned out pretty good, but while we were waiting for the moon to set, we started to play around with different images and angles.

So for this image, I set up the shot, Larry helped me by hitting the trigger and our friend, Dave helped out by lighting me up. It was totally a group effort and am so happy with the way it turned out. Thanks guys for all your help!

Super moon shoot was fun, but I think I’ll just stick to sunrise next time 🙂 Or just capture the moon it as it rises. I was definietly feeling the effects of an early wake up by 9am. At that time, I had already been up for 6 hours! Craziness!

The settings for this image is F5.6 at 4 seconds and ISO 500 with my Sony A7II and 16-35mm wide angle lens.

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You know, I photograph Washington DC a lot. LOL. A lot of the time it’s at sunrise. And lately there hasn’t been a real sunrise that has gotten me excited to shoot, except for this day! I woke up a little earlier than usual and made my way down to the National Mall. Driving in I knew it was going to be a real good one. It’s really hard to say how, but I can just tell by looking at the clouds. Needless to say, I was super hyped.

I knew right away that it was going to be a great photo day. I wanted to make sure that my feet kept on moving as I walked through the Lincoln Memorial, the Reflecting Pool and the Vietnam Veterans Memorial. I try my best to experiment with different compositions at the places I go to the most. I really don’t like going home with a SD card full of the same exact images. So the only way to prevent that from happening is to keep on moving. But something was calling me back to the Reflecting Pool. I knew it was going to be THE place to capture this amazing sky.

As soon as I turned the corner from the Vietnam Veterans Memorial, I stood in awe. It was AMAZING. My favorite is seeing the perfect cloud reflections in the water. In order to capture it all, I had to get real low. No tripod, just balanced my camera on the ground and hoping my winter shivers didn’t move the camera too much. It literally looked like the sky was on fire. Couldn’t have asked for a better morning!

The settings for this image is F8 at 1/20th of a second and ISO 250 with my Sony A7II and 16-35mm wide angle lens.

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One of the coolest things ever happened last week. I got to attend the National Christmas Tree Lighting. Living in the Washington DC area my whole life, I’ve always wanted to do something like this. The White House hosts some pretty cool events throughout the year and I’ve always admired them from the tv screen. Shout out to my friend, Albert for inviting me to the event. We had great seats and enjoyed all the singing, dancing and obviously the Christmas Tree lighting. My favorite part? Seeing Dean Cain in person. OMG I loved him in Lois and Clark when I was younger. Hottie hasn’t changed one bit 😉

The whole event was being recorded for the Hallmark Channel so it was really cool to witness all the behind the scene productions. One thing I learned, they’re really sensitive about people walking in front of the teleprompter. Long story but a quick tip: go to the bathroom before TV filming begins. HAHAHA. But I loved how there was so much emphasis on preserving all the national parks since it was filmed in President’s Park and remembering those who can’t be with us during the holiday season, specifically those serving our country. The Beach Boys were awesome and a group of young boys called, “Boys II Bowties” were the cutest. I had so much fun!

The Hallmark special airs tonight. So if you see me, LET ME KNOW! We had pretty good seats and I did see the camera pointed in my direction a couple of times. I’m wearing a light grey coat with a green sweater underneath LOL. How cool would it be to see me on TV? (next to Dean Cain)

My camera settings for this image is F5.6 at 1/30th of a second ISO 2500 with my Sony A7II and 28-70mm lens.