US capitol

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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 StationĀ 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‘ šŸ™‚

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You know what’s funny? As I was shooting this, I noticed I was the only one who was getting up close to the US Capitol building. There were quite a few tourists out there with me. I think a bus pulled up while I was there and so many of them were taking selfies in front of the Capitol. But no one would even get near the fountain. Weird, right? Maybe it was the Capitol police with their guns that looked so intimidating. Or maybe they were just not trying to get into my shot. Either way, I was all alone taking this picture. I’m not complaining though. It was really nice to be the only one. Who knows how many people got pictures of my back side though. HAHA.

On this evening, it looked like it was going to storm but I don’t think it actually did. The clouds were super dark. I couldn’t tell with my eyes if they were moving but once I slapped on the Ice Neutral density filter 10 stop, I could see that they were making this really cool effect. Like they were all racing out of the Capitol dome. I really liked it so I tried different angles and came out with this one. This one came out particularly awesomeĀ because you can see some reflection in the water and may I add the symmetry of the building’s architecture is probably the coolest part of the image.

For some reason seeing dark and moody images of the Capitol always reminds me of President Underwood. So now that House of Cards season 5 is officially back on Netflix, I think you know what Andrew and I will be doing on our flight back home from our trip. Oh man, can’t waitttt. This season is really going to be good!

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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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Man, why don’t people photograph this building more often? Actually, why don’t I photograph this building more often? Its so beautiful and right across the street from the US Capitol. It should be one of those places that people love to visit.

It’s crazy, I shot this image last fall but never got around to editing it. I think that happens a lot. I just get so carried away with shooting sometimes that I forget I have to spend more time sitting in front of a computer and edit them. I dont mind though because I like editing almost as much as I like shooting. I didn’t even remember that I shot this until a client of mine asked me for Supreme Court shots. I was like ‘I know I’ve been there before…’ LOL.

It’s kind of intimidating place to be there though. Theres ALWAYS security officers all around the grounds. You feel like you’re being watched with every move you make. Not like how it is at the US Capitol or any of the other memorials I usually visit where you can run around buck naked and no one would even care. JUST KIDDING. Don’t do that. Please don’t do that.

This was shot at f/7.1 1/25th of a second at ISO 250 with my 16-35mm handheld. The only way to get a shot like this is to shoot with a wide angle. I love the contrast between the columns and the sky. Luckily this was around the time of sunset so the sun was doing amazing things on the marble. I also like the natural leading lines the columns create.

Washington DC is so great for architecture and the Supreme Court is just one example of that. Hope to explore more in the city and find more interesting angles like this one.

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Sometimes waking up early can be a struggle. The night before I took this, I was out to dinner with a few of my girlfriends. We were having so much fun catching up that we ended up staying out later than we usually would of so that meant I went to bed later than I usually do. Before we even went to bed, Andrew asked if I was going to wake up for sunrise. I said “I’m going to wake up and check the weather”. Well the next morning the app on my phone said it was mostly cloudy (usually great weather for photos) but I sooo did not want to wake up. I was tired and because the weather channel app also said it was 29 degrees out, I double did not want to wake up. After about 20 minutes of laying there and pretending like I was looking at important stuff on instagram and my email, I finally rolled out of bed, put on two pairs of pants, 3 top layers and off to the city I went. I decided to go to the US Capitol because I felt like I haven’t been there for a long time. With the inauguration last month, that place was pretty crowded with construction and people for about 3 months prior.

Once I arrived at the Capitol, it seemed like all the cold air went away. All the sleepiness went away. And I just felt pure excitement. The pink started to really show through the clouds and the air was so still that the reflection in the reflecting pool was perfect. I’m so glad I got there early because by the time I drove home the skies had turned grey. Overall, timing was perfect for the pink sunrise and the clouds were perfect for a nap afterwards šŸ™‚

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sunriseĀ of inauguration morning from Union Station

I make a conscious effort to not talk about politics and/or religion. Especially to people I don’t know very well but even more so on the internet. These are two subjects are ones that peopleĀ feel very passionately about and theres never a right or wrong answer. It always ends up in arguments. But living in the DC metro area, it was pretty impossible to do that this past weekend. So when the opportunity to attend the inauguration of Donald Trump came up, I took it.Ā 

To be honest, I had never attended an inauguration before and had no idea what to expect. I just knew that this one was going to be especially interesting. IĀ wokeĀ up extra early, stepped out of my comfort zone and practiced my street photography. I also filmed a short video at the very end.

So here it is, what I saw on Inauguration day 2017.

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Walking out of the Union Station I saw the first protest. Several crowds of people stood by the fountain.

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Each protesting in their own ways.

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As we got closer to the entrance, the protests got louder

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Inside the Silver gate

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People crowded the tv screens

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and a lot of space everywhere else

The sights and sounds of the 2017 Presidential Inauguration: