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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.

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My favorite interior in all of DC! The Main Reading Room in the Library of Congress. When you walk in for the first time, you can help but to say “Wow”. With all the beautiful windows and light coming from the ceiling your immediate reaction is just to look up. I remember the first time I visited the main reading room, I just kept on clicking and clicking away on my camera. I was stunned by how amazing it all was, especially all the fine details. Now that I’ve been a couple of times, I love to walk around and just appreciate all that is there.

I love how it’s still a library. The card catalogue is kinda like an ancient artifact all on it’s own. I bet my nephews who are in elementary school right now have no idea what it is or even how to use it. Which is funny and kinda sad all at the same time. Sad only because I remember when I was in elementary school, it was a fun game to learn how to use the card catalogue. All of us would run around the library looking for a particular book. It was a fun race to find the book first. Funny because they probably have a way better computerized system now to located their books and they would consider all of those cards so ancient. Either way, it’s just fun to run my finger tips along the cards and imagine how each one of those little cards represent so much knowledge from one book.

On a side note, I’m sick. So if that was a little rambley for no reason and a little like ‘why are you talking so much about card catalogues’, that’s why. I’m usually not that passionate about library’s organizational systems.

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Recently I was asked about my favorite place east of the US Capitol. First, I had to look on a map. LOL. Then found out that there were so many places that I could list – Union Station, the Arboretum, etc but it always came back to the US Capitol. Does that count? I don’t know what it is about the Capitol, but it’s such a beautiful building. My favorite is just walking around it. From all points of view its amazing. My favorite for sunrise is this spot right here. Right in front of the reflecting pool while watching the ducks swim past.

But have you ever been inside? It’s the best part, in my opinion. The Rotunda is stunning. As soon as you walk in you are overwhelmed with beauty. And then when you look up! OMG. Breath taking. So the only way to see the Rotunda is to take the Capitol tour. They’re free and highly recommended. I really should go back again soon. Last time I went was during the restoration and most of the dome was covered up. This may have sounded like a paid advertisement for the tour, but it’s not. LOL. Just a huge fan in the interior of this building.

In reality, I captured this sunrise a while ago. I think it was during cherry blossom season. I was just so consumed by the beautiful blooms that I didn’t have time to work on this image. My favorite part is definietly the sun burst coming out of the Capitol. I think it’s what really makes this image pop. The camera settings on this one was F22 for 1/13th of a second ISO 250. If I remember correctly, this was a handheld. I think it was the day after my ‘little’ tripod incident and wasn’t about risking it again.