reflecting pool

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We left to California at the right time. As soon as we left, Washington DC experienced a serious cold snap. My parents and friends were texting saying how they were going to come find us in San Diego because it was just so back home. I’m talking single digits with wind on some days. I felt so bad for them while I was sitting on our Airbnb’s patio staring at orange trees in 75 degree weather. LOL.

But in all honesty, I was a little jealous. With extreme weather like that you’re going to get some awesome pics. I saw so many of my instagram friends posting some really unique images like people walking on the frozen reflecting pool. What the what? I want to walk on the reflecting pool! That looks so cool. I even saw someone riding a bike and ice skating on the reflecting pool. That’s crazy! If I had ice skates, I’d be allllll about that. Triple axels and everything! HAHA JK. The most I can do is go backwards.

It’s all good though.

So when we got back, I was really hoping to get a little taste of it. I woke up yesterday knowing that my first sunrise back in DC had to be the Reflecting Pool. When I arrived, I was so excited to see all the ice chunks but I didn’t dare step on it because I wasn’t sure if it was still safe or not. Look at me being all cautious in the new year. LOL.

My camera settings for this image is F10 at 2 seconds and ISO 250 with my Sony A7II and 16-35mm lens on my gitzo tripod.

PS Every time I write “LOL” its because I’m really just making myself laugh while writing blog posts. Let me know if I should stop doing that because I think I’m funny so…

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Merry Christmas and happy holidays! Which ever holiday you celebrate, I hope you got to spend this past weekend with the ones you love the most.

My holiday celebrations started last Friday and has continued everyday since. It was so great to see so many family members and friends. But I’m not going to lie, it was a pretty hectic weekend with a lot of eating. Diet starts tomorrow! …. or January 2nd 🙂 And I can’t get this song out of my head. What is your favorite holiday song?

I took this image one morning earlier this month. I knew I had to have something prepared for this day on the blog and I wanted to photograph the US Capitol Christmas tree since I already had an image of the National Christmas Tree in front of the White House. Somehow I forgot my tripod so this is completely hand held. I was sitting along the edge of the reflecting pool and held my camera as close to the water as I could get without it getting wet. It was pretty nerve wracking given my previous experiences with water and cameras but I’m glad I was able to get it done. Soon after I captured this moment, all the lights turned off and you weren’t able to see the Christmas Tree at all. I am lucky I got this when I did.

The camera settings for this image is F5.6 at 0.4 seconds and ISO 250 with my Sony A7II and 28-70mm. Pretty impressive for a 0.4 second hand held shot, right? I think so! LOL

Again, Happy Holidays to you! Now is the time to relax and just enjoy the winter season. Have you come up with your 2018 goals yet? I have a few in mind…

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You know, I photograph Washington DC a lot. LOL. A lot of the time it’s at sunrise. And lately there hasn’t been a real sunrise that has gotten me excited to shoot, except for this day! I woke up a little earlier than usual and made my way down to the National Mall. Driving in I knew it was going to be a real good one. It’s really hard to say how, but I can just tell by looking at the clouds. Needless to say, I was super hyped.

I knew right away that it was going to be a great photo day. I wanted to make sure that my feet kept on moving as I walked through the Lincoln Memorial, the Reflecting Pool and the Vietnam Veterans Memorial. I try my best to experiment with different compositions at the places I go to the most. I really don’t like going home with a SD card full of the same exact images. So the only way to prevent that from happening is to keep on moving. But something was calling me back to the Reflecting Pool. I knew it was going to be THE place to capture this amazing sky.

As soon as I turned the corner from the Vietnam Veterans Memorial, I stood in awe. It was AMAZING. My favorite is seeing the perfect cloud reflections in the water. In order to capture it all, I had to get real low. No tripod, just balanced my camera on the ground and hoping my winter shivers didn’t move the camera too much. It literally looked like the sky was on fire. Couldn’t have asked for a better morning!

The settings for this image is F8 at 1/20th of a second and ISO 250 with my Sony A7II and 16-35mm wide angle lens.

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This was taken the same morning as this image just about 30 minutes earlier. It’s a weird perspective in two different ways. 1 because this image is facing west. For some reason, this sunrise had all the color in the opposite direction and hardly anything facing east. You could imagine my surprise when I actually saw it. It was totally unexpected but very much welcomed. 2 because I knew I wanted to try to get the reflection of the colors in from the reflecting pool but there would have been no way I would have been able to get to the other side of the reflecting pool without the colors fading. So I decided that the edge of the reflecting pool was good enough. Personally, I don’t like it when I see other photographers stick their tripods in the reflecting pool to take pictures. I don’t know why but I just find it disrespectful. So this was a handheld shot to make it look like my tripod was in the water. LOL. Don’t worry, no tripods went swimming to capture this image! It stayed safely in the middle of the sidewalk so that no one could push it in. And by no one, I mean me.

But overall I love the way it turned out, especially the side of the steps where it sort of looks like a semi-circle in the reflection. Such an interesting pattern but one I’ve never noticed before and don’t know if I really would have if it weren’t for this angle.

Lesson learned here. Always look behind you when taking pictures. You could be missing out on some fantastic color and would have never known it!

The camera settings for this image is F/8 at 1/60th of a second and ISO 200 with my Sony A7II and 16-35mm wide angle lens.

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Somehow I’m lucky enough to live right in the middle of two awesome airports, Dulles International Airport and Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport.  But for some reason, I’m always flying out of Dulles. So when the rare opportunity comes up to fly out of Reagan, I take FULL ADVANTAGE! I do my research and try to figure out where I can sit on the plane to make sure I get the birds eye view of the National Mall. If you want to do the same, read on…

I know you can see the monuments if you’re flying north of DC and about 50% sure you can see them when you’re flying west of the city. You definietly won’t see them if you’re flying south. So if you’re flying north, try to sit on the right hand side of the plane. Obviously, when you’re flying back to DC, sit on the left hand side. If you aren’t able reserve those seats, you’ll still be able to get pretty cool views of the Pentagon and Air Force Memorial on the opposite side so be on the look out for those. Either way, window seats are key! And have your camera ready right at take off or when you are descending. It’s  surprising how fast the memorials will pop into your window. You’ll see them as you’re climbing your way up to the clouds or when you’re right about to touch down.

In order to take this image, I was sitting in the window seat, but I had to lean into the middle seat to capture it. My intention was to capture the light coming from the window and use it to frame the monuments. I really like this image, but I also wish I went a little closer to capture only the monuments. Oh well! There’s always next time:

My settings for this image is 1/3200 of a second at F/8 ISO 1000 with my 16-35mm wide angle lens and Sony A7II.

 

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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.