interior

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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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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 second time visiting the Oculus and¬†it’s just was just as amazing as the first time. But this second time, I got to see way more of it. The first time I visited, everything was still under construction. Andrew and I were only able to see a little hallway from the train station to the main part. The main part was still behind closed doors and under wraps. It’s crazy because we were super impressed by that little hallway. Never had I imagined that this main part would be so awesome. But I think the best part about the whole thing is that the “main part” that I keep referring to is a mall now. How freaking amazing would it be to do your everyday shopping here. I feel like I wouldn’t even be able to get anything done. I’d just want to¬†stand in the middle and take pictures the whole time.

I love how it’s just so white and clean. Super modern looking but it makes me wonder what it’d be like to stand there during a really nice sunset or something like that. Would you be able to see the colors come through the windows? Similar to how the Washington¬†National Cathedral looks in the early morning light when the light peaks through and you can see the color reflections all over the walls. I think that’d be so awesome. If any New Yorkers are reading this, please try this and let me know the results. If you can see something really cool, I’d probably spend a week in the same spot just waiting for a cool sunset/sunrise.

My camera settings for this image was f/10 at 1/30th of a second ISO 100. Like I said before, all those windows on top are so great for letting in light. A really low ISO is all you need to capture a really cool shot like this.

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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.

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It’s been a while since I’ve visited the Holocaust Museum in DC. The first and only time was when I was in elementary school. It wasn’t a school trip or anything but it was an experience that was hard to forget. I remember the hall of shoes and wanting to run out of that room as fast as I could. I also remember being so relieved once we were done with the museum because it was that emotional and heart-breaking. As a young girl, I don’t think I¬†completely understood what I was looking at but even then I knew I didn’t like it.

So when the opportunity came up to visit the museum again, I was hesitant. I wasn’t sure if I was still ready to visit all those emotions again. However this time was different. I was asked to visit for a social media architectural tour in honor of the Holocaust Remembrance day at the museum. The concentration was on the building itself however my favorite part was listening to Holocaust survivor, Margit Meissner speak. Her story of escaping the Nazis¬†were both heroic and inspiring. She wore a pin that said “What I do Matters” and I will carry that mantra with me for as long as I can.

This image is from the¬†Tower of Faces. An overwhelming three-story hallway of portraits of families, children and people devoted to the Jewish community in Eisiskes, Lithuania. Just looking into the eyes and faces of these people was so powerful. In the middle¬†of the image is my friend, Zack. I didn’t tell him to pose like that or anything. It’s was just his natural reaction to try to capture it all. I think we were both just totally blown away by this particular room because we both walked in saying “Wow”.