interior

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So weird that it’s Wednesday, right? I feel like long holidays always throw off my sense of days. Not that I’m complaining at all. I love them. I got to spend time with family and friends and there’s nothing better than that!

Saturday we had a lot of rain. It rained all day and was super gloomy. So in my head that meant that Sunday would have a good sunrise. Even though I was still in my ‘long holiday mode’, I still managed to wake up in time to catch the sunrise from the Lincoln Memorial. I was super lucky too. The sky only had a little hint of pink for a minute and then it was gone. The rest of the sunrise was cloudy and gloomy. But you know what’s funny? Around this time of year, I always see young people hanging out on the steps of the Lincoln. I can only assume that they just started collage and it’s the first time that they have complete freedom. So they stay up all night, doing who knows what, and then thinks its a great idea to watch the sunrise over the reflecting pool. They’re never rowdy or disruptive, but you can definietly tell that they’re struggling to stay awake. LOL. I’m sure I did similar things when I was in college. But hey, at least they’re taking the time to appreciate the new day 🙂 Which they’re probably going to just sleep through anyways. You can see what I mean on the bottom left, next to the column. You may not have noticed it, but there’s someone laying down there “appreciating the new day”.

My camera settings for this image was F13 at 8 seconds ISO 200 on a tripod. Luckily, this early in the morning, no one cares about about your tripod.

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I had the pleasure of getting a sneak peak of the Freer and Sackler gallery before the reopening in early October. Shout out to IGDC for the amazing invite. It was so cool to see all the beginning stages of the museum. I say the beginning stages because it is currently under reconstruction and some of the exhibits had been taken down. So it was interesting to see the ‘before’.

You can’t tell from this image, but one of my favorite parts was all the natural lighting. The museum is shaped like a square with an inner courtyard in the middle. All the hallways have these amazing windows that lets you look out to the center. The coolest part is that it even housed peacocks at one point! I would have loved to see them. Hence, the peacock room! We got to see it with the windows opened which brought in this amazing light. I’ll have to share an image of it later. But if you get a chance to see the museum when it reopens, definietly check it out. It was very beautiful and all the gold gave me the chills.

One interesting fact that I will always remember is that though it is a predominately asian art museum (with a little bit of American sprinkled in), the architecture is Italian Palazzo. This was because Charles Freer, the museum’s designer stopped in Italy on his way to Asia. He was heavily influenced by the asian cultures but wanted to incorporate the Italian architecture. I think marrying these two cultures was such a unique idea. If you walk around the museum, make sure to be looking up as well. The ceilings and arches are beautiful!

It was my first time visiting this museum and as you can see, I really enjoyed it. I can’t wait to visit again when it reopens. The image of the staircase was just a small detail but loved the texture and lines that it formed.

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If you’ve never been, then I’d highly recommend visiting the Holocaust Museum in Washington DC. It’s not a Smithsonian museum so you have to pay for admission but it’s totally worth it. They do an excellent job of provoking emotions out of you that you’d never expect. While walking through, I felt anger, sadness, confusion and most of all disbelief. Especially when you’re walking through the Tower of Faces. This is a shot looking directly up in the center of the tower. Luckily, I was there when no one else was around so I was able to take my time and make sure everything was aligned. But to imagine all these people, suffering and with such sadness is so overwhelming. I mean this tower is so tall and there are so many faces in here. It’s sad to think that this was just a small portion of the people who actually lived the holocaust.

I really think it’s important to learn from our history. Mostly so we don’t repeat our same mistakes. We can do so much better and we should. I just don’t understand how some people can have so much hatred in their hearts.

Anyways, the settings for this image is F6.3 at 1/13th of a second ISO 160. I used my wide angle lens for this shot because I wanted to make sure I could get as much of the wall space as I could. Kneeling down on the floor helped as well. In post processing, I added a dark vignette around the edges to really emphasize the mood of the tower. I’m hoping the light in the center can symbolize the light at the end of a dark tunnel.

If for any reason you are scared, just know that I was too. But these days it seems like its scarier on the streets than in a museum. More peace. More love.

 

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Before the National Museum of African American History and Culture opened, the National Museum of American Indian used to be the museum in Washington DC that was rated with the best food. It is also the only reason why I’d ever been to the museum. For the food. Try the fry bread! Yummm.

But over the weekend last week, Andrew and I found ourselves in the city with some time to kill. Luckily, I’ve started to get into this habit where I’ll bring my camera wherever I go. I used to leave it home and only take it out whenever I knew I was shooting. Lately, I’ll take it out whenever I know I’ll be out of the house for a while. You never know when a photo opportunity will hit! So I had my camera in hand and we headed over to the National Mall. By luck would have it, the parking spot we found was closest to the National Museum of American Indian, so we decided to go in.

Man, was I really missing out by heading straight to the cafeteria and not looking around. The architecture inside and out is beautiful and the exhibits were interesting. We didn’t get to see it all but enough so that I’d want to come back and spend more time here. I feel like a majority of the time, I was just looking up. I was excited to go to the top floor and check out what the ceiling looked like from every level. Is that weird? It sort of reminds me so much of the New York City Oculus.

Anyways, if this was brand new to me, I’m sure there are many more interiors that I’m missing out on in DC. Looking forward to checking out more. If you have any recommendations, let me know!

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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‘ 🙂

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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.