Washington DC

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And we’re in the home stretch. Today we’ll be arriving in San Diego which is our final destination for our great American road trip and we’ll be spending the rest of the weekend here. I’m not going to lie, this has been the time of my life but it has also been exhausting. Driving across country is something that I never thought I’d do but I’ve learned so much from it. Next time I do this, I want to drive through the northern part of the country like South Dakota, Montana, Wyoming. Theres so much more to the country that I haven’t seen. Seeing it from the road is a great way to appreciate it all. Hopefully Andrew and Frankie will be able to join. That would be sooo much fun.

This image was taken on top of the parking garage at Union Station. Pro tip- Union Station itself is amazing to photograph. Interior, exterior, beautiful views it has it all. Then after you’re all done, you can go down to the restaurants and get an adult beverage. But seriously, this an amazing spot for sunset with an unique view of the Capitol. There aren’t many places where you can go on a rooftop or shoot from a very tall point of view in Washington DC. Especially now since the Washington Monument is closed for who knows how long. So for a great birds eye view of things, Union Station¬†is one of the best places to go to.

My settings for this image was F6.3 at 1/10th of a second at ISO 160. I did not have my tripod with me at this time but I should of. The wall of the parking garage is pretty tall. Taller than what I’m used to, so shooting for me was a little difficult. The whole time I was standing on my tipy-toes but like Tim Gunn says, ‘I made it work‘ ūüôā

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You wouldn’t be able to tell from this image, but there were tons of people out. All these school field trips, buses of tourists, and just people who wanted to see the sights at the Tidal Basin. So it was difficult for me to find my own little corner to shoot, but I did it! The secret is to figure out where all these people were coming in and exiting from. Its usually the same area, so I just walked on the opposite side of the memorial and BOOM. Clicky-click city.

This was during sunset but the weather had been calling for on and off showers all day. Music to my ears! So I went out, not really expecting much but the clouds were so dramatic that it was so easy and fun to shoot. I love how the steps of the Jefferson Memorial create a leading line to the Washington Monument. Also the tree on the right creates the perfect compliment for framing to the columns. But my absolute favorite part of the image is the distorted reflection of the Monument on the steps. So cool and interesting to look at. Who knew the marble was THAT reflective.

My camera settings on this image were f/5.6 at 10 seconds. I used my ND filter to slow down the exposure which is really showcased in the movement of the clouds. Good thing it didn’t rain for the rest of the night. I was having a ball with this sky. Also shooting at a long exposure can really blur out some of the people in the image. I think I’ll try for a slightly shorter exposure next time and experiment with the people. Kinda similar to this image I took in New York City at Grand Central Terminal a couple of weeks ago. Yea… that might be kind of interesting.

 

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I took this right before I left for my trip to Colorado and Utah. Its of the Jefferson Memorial and a big puddle I found on the street right behind it. I distinctly remember trying to walk a different way than I usually do to the Memorial on this day but that meant weaving through a whole bunch of buses and school field trip children to get to it. I know I must of looked crazy because I got so many weird looks. Like why was I kneeling down in the middle of the road? Middle school kids can be so judgey. LOL JK not really. Whatever. I got a cool shot, right?

On a completely different note,¬†tomorrow is the start to a brand new adventure! My friend, Sue and I are about to hop in a car and drive cross county to California. Final destination, San Diego! It’s going to be B-A-N-A-N-A-S. Can’t wait. Here are our¬†stops in case you are somewhere around us or if you have any tips for things to see along the way.

Day 1: Nashville, TN
Day 2: OKC, OK
Day 3: Santa Fe, NM
Day 4: Alamogordo, NM
Day 5: Tucson, AZ
Day 6 & 7: Los Angeles, CA
Day 8,9 & 10: San Diego, CA

I’m most excited about White Sands National Monument. Every picture I’ve seen from that place is BEAUTIFUL. Same with Tucson, AZ. Seguaro National Park is definietly on the to-do list. Now that I think about it, this whole trip is going to be a brand new to me (minus the places in California).¬†Can’t freakin’ wait! A cross country road trip has been something on my vision board for a while now and I can’t believe it’s finally happening. Be sure to check out my instagram stories to follow along on the adventure but most of it will be on my youtube channel when I get back ūüėČ

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If you’re in the DC area, check out the June’s issue of the Washingtonian magazine. Its the best of Washington issue and I have two pictures in there! So freakin’ cool! The first and biggest one is the one featured above. I took it one morning at the Hirshhorn Museum when people were waiting in line for the Yayoi Kusama: Infinity Mirrors exhibit on one of the last days that it was here. They were waiting for day of passes but it’s crazy because I took this around 7a in the morning and there were already so many people there. The light was absolutely amazing and the reflection in the middle as so cool. It was hard not to take the picture. The Washingtonian contacted me and said they were doing a story¬†on lines in DC so I thought that this one would fit perfectly. I especially like all the blue and yellow tones plus the reflection in the windows are pretty awesome as well.

The second image I have in this month’s issue is of the National Gallery of Art’s new roof terrace sculpture by Katharina Fritsch’s titled “Hanh/Cock”. I originally wanted to take a picture of it for Chinese New Year since this year is the sign of the Cock. I think it’s really cool that it ended up in the Washingtonian. This sculpture itself is pretty large and in charge when you see it in person. I don’t know if you can see, but theres a slight shadow of someone in the window. That might give you a comparison of what it’s like to stand right next to it. Oh the jokes that this bird has heard.

Anyways, shout out to Washingtonian for being so awesome. Its always so exciting to see my work published in print. I grew up on the Washingtonian so I’m grateful to be able to contribute to such an awesome publication.

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You know what’s funny? As I was shooting this, I noticed I was the only one who was getting up close to the US Capitol building. There were quite a few tourists out there with me. I think a bus pulled up while I was there and so many of them were taking selfies in front of the Capitol. But no one would even get near the fountain. Weird, right? Maybe it was the Capitol police with their guns that looked so intimidating. Or maybe they were just not trying to get into my shot. Either way, I was all alone taking this picture. I’m not complaining though. It was really nice to be the only one. Who knows how many people got pictures of my back side though. HAHA.

On this evening, it looked like it was going to storm but I don’t think it actually did. The clouds were super dark. I couldn’t tell with my eyes if they were moving but once I slapped on the Ice Neutral density filter 10 stop, I could see that they were making this really cool effect. Like they were all racing out of the Capitol dome. I really liked it so I tried different angles and came out with this one. This one came out particularly awesome¬†because you can see some reflection in the water and may I add the symmetry of the building’s architecture is probably the coolest part of the image.

For some reason seeing dark and moody images of the Capitol always reminds me of President Underwood. So now that House of Cards season 5 is officially back on Netflix, I think you know what Andrew and I will be doing on our flight back home from our trip. Oh man, can’t waitttt. This season is really going to be good!

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Even though¬†The National Museum of African American History and Culture is the newest museum in the National Mall and Washington DC area, it’s quickly becoming one of my favorites. I’ve only been inside once but I’ve admired it from the outside numerous times. It’s so exciting to have this new space because there are so many new angles to explore. Like this one made possible by the enormous and beautiful reflecting windows that surround the museum.

Now that summer time is on us, I also think it’d be interesting to see what people do with the fireworks in this space. I was lucky enough to have special access to shoot the Independence Day fireworks on the grounds last year but it was sort of a bust. All day it had been rainy with super low clouds so it was sort of difficult to see the fireworks. And it was crazy because the fireworks¬†that were super high in the sky were only heard, not seen. So this year I think it’d be interesting to see if fireworks would be able to reflect off the windows or even some of the outdoor features surrounding the museum. Weather permitting of course.

The camera settings for this image was F7.1 at 1/30th of a second at ISO 400. I shot this at sunset while being smushed up against the windows. A high ISO was needed to be sure everything stayed sharp and in focus. It was only afterwards, in post processing, where I thought this image would look even cooler in black and white. I think it really brings out the the drama and makes the angles look even sharper.

Can’t wait to go inside the museum again to capture the ‘cleansing fountain’. The first time I was there, it wasn’t up and running.