Museum

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The National Gallery of Art is one of my favorite buildings in Washington DC. I love the architecture, the clean lines and obviously the interior space. But they also have some great cherry blossom trees in the spring time too. I’ve shot them before but this year, I wanted to spend a little more time here. Unfortunately the day I decided to go it was super cloudy, grey and windy. I definietly needed my tripod for this shoot.

I had this idea in my head that I wanted to do a whole series of images from this one spot. It’s still going to happen and I’m going through all the images but I thought this one was pretty cool. It reminds me of the two twin girl emoji, right? 👯 LOL Could you imagine if there was another one of me? LOL I think my mom would have ran away from us while we were in high school. I bet Andrew would love it though. HAHAHA

In order to capture this, I set my camera on my tripod and set the 10 second timer. I sprinted over to stand underneath the tree and as the shutter was going off, I just slightly moved my legs around as if I was just casually standing under the tree. Than I ran back to the camera to check out the image. It may have looked casual, but I was huffing and puffing in between takes. After about 3 tries, I was done and was happy with the way this one turned out.

Is it me or do I look super short in this image too? Oh well. It’s a pretty cool experiment in scale as well.

My settings for this image is F4 at 6 seconds and ISO 320 with my Sony A7II and 28-70mm lens on a tripod.

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Earlier this week I had the pleasure of attending the Artechouse‘s preview event for their latest installation called “Sakura Yume | Cherry Blossom Dream”. It definietly hyped me up for the real Cherry Blossoms blooming later this month!

One of my favorite things about visiting the Artechouse is the peaceful atmosphere it creates. The room is very dark, they have beautiful, calming music playing and everyone just seems to relax and enjoy the installation. This one in particular was very cool because 1. I love cherry blossoms and 2. it seemed like there were little surprises at every corner. For example in the main room, if you stood there and watched the wall for a while you’ll see a koi fish swim past or some Japanese lettering floating around. It was definietly a very cool experience.

However my favorite part was in the room where they are going to have their immersive food experience. It looks so cool. Basically everyone sits down on a cushion on the floor and you can ‘play’ with the table and watch all these colors and shapes appear right before you.

Here’s an image of what it looks like.

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I took this pic with my iphone. Between the tables are columns of these cherry blossom branches. It seemed like the perfect place to have a little photoshoot.

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So if you haven’t seen any of their other installations or if you’re a cherry blossom fan like me, definietly go and check it out. It’s probably one of my favorites that they’ve had there. If you’re interested, here’s are a few images from past visits.

My camera settings for this image is F4.0 at 1/100th of a second at ISO 5000 with my Sony A7II and 16-35mm wide angle lens. Like I said before, this room is super dark and no tripods. I love this camera in low light situations!

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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 we left on this road trip, we had all our stops planned. But the original plan was to stay in Roswell, New Mexico because Sue’s bananas over aliens. But days before we left I was on tripadvisor.com and everyone was saying how Roswell was very disappointing it was. Skrt Skrt– change of plans.

Luckily we were able to adjust our plans to stay in Santa Fe instead. In hindsight this new plan was a 100x better. Not knocking Roswell or anything but we drove through it and the 15 minutes that we spent in the town was all we needed. It probably would have been cool at night time but for us to get the most out of the trip, Santa Fe was a much better idea.

I was so excited to be visiting. It’s one of those places that I’d heard of before but never thought I’d ever visit. My mind immediately went straight to the Georgia O’Keeffe museum. One of my all time favorite artists. I just admire her paintings, creativity, and boldness so much. I could not wait to visit!

georgia okeefe museum, exhibit

Thats me looking at some images of the artist. I swear I’m wearing shorts!

We ended up staying one extra night in Santa Fe so we spent the next day in Tent Rocks National Monument. I guess I was still thinking about O’Keeffe’s flower images while walking the trail because I see some of those abstract qualities in the image above. I took the image while we were walking through the extremely narrow slot canyons. Everyone was concentrating on what was ahead on the trail, I ended up just looking up.

I can see why O’Keeffe loved New Mexico so much. It’s a such a beautiful state and I’m so glad we got to spend extra time traveling and sight seeing. I really look forward to visiting again.

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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.