architecture

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I found the biggest difference between photographing the US Capitol and the other memorials like Lincoln Memorial or Jefferson Memorial during lightning was the fact that there was no real place to hide from the rain. At least when you visit the Lincoln Memorial and Jefferson Memorial, you are able to hide under a bit of shelter and still be able to create images. At the US Capitol there is nothing like that so you’re basically out in the open, hoping your camera gear doesn’t get soaked.

That was the case for this image. I actually had a huge rain droplet in the middle of my lens and didn’t even notice until a couple of frames after this image. Its ok though because I cropped the image to the most interesting part of the image anyways. I’m just glad I caught it when I did. Every time the lighting would strike, it turned the skies crazy purple. I love how the relationship between the lightning and the US Capitol dome. The lighting bolt is twisting and turning in all kinds of ways when the US Capitol is so straight and architectural. I think my favorite part of the image is the fact that the lights are still on in the dome. It some how gives it even more life.

I’m really looking forward to photographing more lightning this summer, especially since sunrise is so early now, I’ve noticed that I’ve been shooting a lot more sunsets and night images than sunrises. LOL. I woke up yesterday to capture the sunrise and it was totally washed out with rain. I should have just stayed in bed…

My camera settings for this image is F4 at 1/15th of a second at ISO 400 with my Sony A7II and 16-35mm wide angle lens on a tripod.

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So after my lightning practice last week at the Jefferson Memorial aiming at the Washington Monument, I had another opportunity to shoot lightning the very next day. This time I was at the Artechouse, which you should definietly go visit. Their latest exhibit is probably my favorite so far. It’s a celebration of lights that really can not be missed. Anyways, I was about to leave the exhibit when I got an alert on my phone saying that lightning struck 3 miles away from my current location. So you know what that means right? Leave asap so you can go storm chasing!

I figured that the US Capitol was the closest, cool looking building to me. Luckily it hadn’t started raining yet and I always have my tripod in my car so I parked as close as I could to the Capitol and made my way over. I had a blast! The wind was blowing and the lightning strikes were crazy big. While I was at the Jefferson Memorial, I had to wait some time between each strike maybe a 2-3 minutes but this time they were coming every 15-20 seconds. It was AWESOMEEEE. I was out there for only 30 minutes or so before the real big rain hit but I’m super happy with the way that this turned out.

Every time the lighting struck it would light up the sky to this amazing blue/purple color. It was such a beautiful show. There were even people who were leaving the Capitol that couldn’t help but to stop and take selfies. Such an exiting night to say the least. I ran back to the car as soon as the rain really started to pick up and it was all good in the neighborhood.

My camera settings for this image is F4.0 at 1/13th of a second ISO 400 with my Sony A7II and 16-35mm.

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While I was busy storm chasing the other day, I didn’t even notice the sunset that was happening. I figured with so much rain, cloudiness and overall darkness going on that we weren’t even going to get a sunset. I was totally wrong. It was this incredibly glowing pink, orange, purple color. I’m not sure if I’ve ever seen anything like it and was completely shocked when I did. Man at least I saw it for the last 5 minutes because I would have been real upset if I missed it.

I was standing in between the columns when I noticed the glow out of the corner of my left eye. I scrambled inside the memorial because I knew the only way to shoot with a cool foreground and not stand in the rain was to shoot the Jefferson statue. I am so glad there are little openings all the way around the memorial because I love the way this image turned out. The reflection on the marble floor is super nice too. I consciously made an effort to include that in the image while I was shooting.

The sunset lasted about 5 minutes (for me at least) and then I went right back to my spot in between the columns to shoot the lightning. Overall it was a great night for photography and I am so glad I was able to go out.

Funny though, the first song that I heard on the radio when I got back into my car was Lightning Crashes by Live. That song brings back so many childhood memories for me. LOL. Mostly of me sneaking into my brothers room and listening to his cd collection.

The settings for this image is F5.6 at 0.4 seconds at ISO 400 with my Sony A7II and 16-35mm and a tripod.

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What’s crazy is that I’m still not even close to done with all my cherry blossom images from this year! We had great bloom and I tried to go out as often as I could. You would say that I went pretty hard! Out of the two weeks, I think I only missed two sunrises. Even if it was really grey and windy, I still went out to see what I could find.

This was captured at the National Gallery of Art. The same time I took this image. But at this point the sun had already come up so there was a little more light available. If you’re not familiar with the gallery, then it may be a little difficult to see what’s really going on. The blue part is just the side of the building. The orange/warm part is the inside of a corner of the building. It goes in a little bit and it has it’s own special uplighting which is causing the warmer tones. I love how the cherry blossom branch just unifies everything in this image.  I have a couple more variations of this image that I still need to play around with but if you’ve been following my blog then you’ll know I love the contrast between warm and cool tones that this image is bringing. It would be really neat to see this as a series. So many ideas, so little time! One day.

And the cherry blossom vlog is coming! It’s been taking me a while because I finally downloaded Final Cut Pro X. I figured it was time to upgrade my video workflow as well. Thanks to my friend, Andy for the extra push! I love how creative you can get with the videos but it’s just taking me a while because I literally have to google every single thing that I want to do. It will be worth it though. Just taking time… apologies.

My camera settings for this image is F5.6 at 1/25th of a second at ISO 1250 with my Sony A7II and 28-70mm lens.

 

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A little break from cherry blossoms for a photo of me 🙂 LOL

I was with my family at the National Museum of Natural history the other day when I decided to take a little breather and go for a quick walk around the National Gallery of Art. I love how these two museums are right next to each other because they are my favorites at the National Mall. It’s so easy to hop from one beautiful museum to the next.

I love the purple wisteria that grow along side of NGA and I had every intention of capturing them on my walk. I only saw a couple of them so I think I was a bit too early for that this year. But in a surprising turn of events it was the glass pyramids outside the east building that caught my attention. I’ve never paid too much attention to them before but when I got closer up to them, I noticed how they are the windows that bring in so much light to the cafeteria part of the gallery. Right next to them are water fountains that trail down to the interior of the building. It was so cool. So as I was kneeling down low to try to capture different angles, I noticed my reflection in the pyramids and decided to take a quick selfie.

I was really surprised by the way that it turned out. First of all, I had no idea that there were so many water stains on the glass. LOL. But for being such a quick click, I really like how it turned out. I imagine this is what I look like to most people when I’m out shooting so it was a very different perspective to see me like this. Pretty, pretty interesting. LOL.

My camera settings for this image is F9 at 1/80th of a second at ISO 200 with my Sony a7II and 16-35mm wide angle lens.

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I have a huge list of things I still want to do and photograph in Washington DC. Crazy right? You would think by now that I’ve accomplished them all but this city is so lively and growing so much that I feel like the list gets longer and longer everyday. Well, a couple of Fridays ago, my friend Birch and I met up to cross one of those things off the list. It had been something I’ve been wanting to do for forever and I’m so glad Birch was awesome enough to accompany me in doing so.

We spent a beautiful hour on the tidal basin in a paddle boat!!! OMG it was so much fun. We picked the perfect day to do it too. That whole week had crazy cold wind but the day we were actually able to go, the weather was beautiful! The best part was that we went on a swan paddle boat which was battery operated so we didn’t even have to paddle at all! We just let the swan do all the work. But we did have to steer the boat. Which may or not have been the easiest thing to do… LOL We seriously spent the whole time talking, laughing and making sure we didn’t run into any of the walls. There were some photos involved too. Either way, I’m doing it again next year! Swan paddle boat or bust.

This image is not from the paddle boat though. This was on the way down to the tidal basin from our cars. I don’t know if I’ve ever seen a perspective like this before and I love the way that it turned out. I was just super lucky to have been able to capture that airplane too!

My camera settings for this image is F5.6 at 1/5000th of a second and ISO 400 with my Sony A7II and 28-70mm lens.