US capitol

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Day 3 of reflections. Check out day 1 and day 2.

Obviously an image of the Lincoln Memorial Reflecting Pool had to be a part of the week long series of reflections. I took this one a couple weeks ago with my friend, Chris. We met up for sunrise and it was forecasted to be a clear day but the predawn colors in the sky were amazing. Usually I hope for clouds for any sunrise image but I feel like the orange color was so vibrant all on their own that it didn’t even need them.

And as I arrived at the reflecting pool I was excited to see that I had got there early enough for them to still have the US Capitol lights on. About 10 minutes later, they were all turned off and it was a lot harder to see it back there. Anyone know what the light schedule to the monuments are like? Next time I’d like to plan for it instead of guessing.

But this same composition has a special place in my heart. It always reminds me of when I first started waking up for sunrise to take pictures. I would make Andrew go with me at first just because I didn’t know what the situation was going to be like. Being a female with expensive camera equipment could be a potentially dangerous situation. But as time went on, I decided that I didn’t need him to go with me anymore. I got comfortable waking up and doing what I needed to do all by myself. So the first time I went by myself to DC, I shot this same exact image and felt super proud of myself.

Now look at me. Sometimes I’ll even wake up before I need to just because I’m so excited to go out to shoot.

The settings for this image is F5.6 for 10 seconds at ISO 200 with my Sony A7II and 16-35mm wide angle lens.

 

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I remember the first time I ever visited the inside of the US Capitol. It blew my mind. Before the visit, I just assumed that everything there was going to be really old looking. Like a building that hasn’t been updated in over 200 years with an overall feeling of cobwebs and dust. But it wasn’t like that at all! I had no idea that it was going to be so beautiful. My favorite was obviously the rotunda. Who doesn’t love a room with an amazing gold ceiling? I love all the light that comes through the windows, the reliefs in the wall and just imagining how many people in our history have walked through these halls. Kinda nuts if you ask me.

But it’s been at least 3 years since I’ve been back.

So I’ve been trying to make it a priority to go again. The first time I went, I had no idea what to expect and I was kinda of caught off guard. This time I knew exactly what I was going to see. I knew to expect something beautiful so I was able to focus my time on composing. It worked out so well. I came out very happy with my images and this one is just the first. I usually don’t try to add people into my images, but I thought in this special situation that it added so much to my story. It was kinda crowded, kinda stuffy but no one even cared because everyone was looking up.

So if you have time, definietly check out the US Capitol tour. It’s only an hour but worth it.

My camera settings for this image is 1/80 seconds at F4.5 and ISO 500. I used my wide angle for this image to capture as much of the ceiling and people as possible.

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Back home from our trip to New York City. We had a blast but I think Frankie had the best time out of all of us. It was his first time in the city and he loved every smell of it! As for me, I’m pretty sure I’ve gained about 10lbs while we were there. That’s what happens when you go anywhere with Andrew. He’s a master at Yelp and does his research before we go anywhere. LOL. I’ll share photos soon! Time to recuperate and fit in a little, I mean a lot of cardio. HAHA.

In the mean time I took this image a couple of weeks ago at the same time I took this image. If you scooted over to the right a little more than the rainbow looked like it was coming out of the United States Capitol. I thought it looked really cool to have it as the backdrop to such an amazing piece of architecture. So I busted out with my 70-200mm to make sure I could get the details that I wanted. I usually don’t carry that lens with me, but ever since I decided to carry my 100mm macro lens around with me on rainy days, I figured it would be good practice to carry the 70-200mm all the other times. It definietly paid off this time.

The settings for this image is F/6.3 1/250th of a second at ISO 320. I did not shoot with a tripod which made it a little more difficult but still very happy with the way it turned out 🙂 The lens is just so long that it would have been easier to keep it steady on the tripod so I could mess with the settings and focusing.

Have a great and safe weekend everyone! What do you have planned for the long weekend?

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So I stayed around a little longer to check out the sunset. I figured it was going to be good one after all the rain we got. Plus that epic double rainbow still had my shutter-clicking finger itchin’ for some more.

It was an interesting night. The west was fully covered with clouds. No chance of any light or color peaking through. The only color we got was coming from the east and it was so beautiful. This soft pastel-y kinda of pink invaded the lingering storm clouds. But I think my favorite part of this image is the US Capitol’s dome reflection. For the same exact reasons that I liked this one of the Washington Monument. The ducks swimming past just made it that much more interesting. Luckily these particular ducks just kept on swimming back and forth in front of my camera for some reason so I had plenty of opportunity to catch them at the right time. And the whole time I was trying to capture these ducks, there was an elementary school girl next to me taking a time lapse on her iPhone. Her friend kept on asking her to take instagram pictures of her but she explained that she couldn’t. She couldn’t stop taking the time lapse of the ducks and sunset because it was so “aesthetically pleasing”. She kept on repeating that phrase over and over again because she was just so proud of her time lapse. So the whole time I was taking this picture, I was definietly making a conscious effort to make sure my images were ‘aesthetically pleasing’ as well.

The settings for this image is F/8 at 1/250th of a second at ISO 1250. The light was dark and the ducks were going by fast. I had to make sure I got a clear image for the shot I had envisioned in my head.

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This is probably my third or forth time seeing a rainbow over the US Capitol. You can see one example here and another one here. But it wasn’t until this rainbow where I realized this is probably the best spot to catch rainbows in DC. 3 out of 4 times it will be directly over the dome and it’s just a beautiful sight to see. It will be slightly off center or totally off to the side at any of the other memorials. But now that I think of it, it might work from behind the Lincoln Memorial. So…. note to self. Check that out next time it rains 🙂

Anyways, I left my house a little early to make sure I had time to catch sunset. I figured with all the rain, traffic was going to be horrible and I was right! I came from a different direction than I usually do which meant that I parked my car on a totally different side of the street. I was way off to the right when I usually park in the middle. From the middle it was two perfect arches over the dome. But it worked out in my favor because I was able to get a totally different perspective of the rainbow and the dome. At first I was envisioning the rainbow pouring out of the dome but then I realized I could see the reflection of the rainbow in the street puddle, omg it was over. I was down, kneeling in the middle of the street for like 10 minutes. Luckily, its not a busy street. Luckily, all the nice people who wanted to drive on the street at least honked their horn at me instead of running me over. At one point, I was side by side next to that red tour bus you can see coming down the road. He didn’t flinch and neither did I. I’m just glad I didn’t get splashed. That would have been inconvenient.

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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‘ 🙂