washington monument

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I have this song playing in the background as I’m writing this blog post.Ā Although I don’t share the same thoughts about rain with Missy Elliot, I do appreciate a catchy beat when I hear it. LOL. Oh, how I make myself laugh.

If you’ve been reading my blog for a while, you’ll know how important music is to me. I love it. It just puts me in such a good mood. Whether I’m driving, taking pictures, editing pictures, whatever it is, there’s a song for any mood you are in. And watching music videos is something that I remember doing ever since the Total Request Days with Carson Daily. I’d come home from school, heat up a hot pocket, and spend the next hour mesmerized by song and dance. I think watching the visual representation of a song makes the song so much more enjoyable to me. I guess that means I am just a very visual person.

But about this image… This was taken right before a big storm was about to approach the Washington Monument. Luckily, it was around the same time as sunset and it made the sky turn this amazingly warm color in the sky. The coolest part is seeing the cloud formation right on top of that sun. I also enjoy looking at each individual flag and seeing how different they are blowing in the wind. Yea, that evening was something very special.

So unlike Missy Elliot, I love the rain. I love the pre-rain, post-rain, and rainbows. Actual rain, I’m sort of iffy about. As long as my camera gear doesn’t get damaged, then I’m all good šŸ™‚

My camera settings for this image is F5.6 at 1/13th of a second ISO 100 on my Canon 5d Mark II with my 17-40mm wide angle lens.

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Most of the time when I wake up for sunrise, I have no real plans of what I’m going to photograph. Especially now with daylight savings, I’ve been waking up earlier than my alarm and can’t fall back asleep. Theres really nothing else to do that early in the morning but to get ready and go take sunrise pictures.Ā  I just figure out where I want to park my car and let my eyes be the guide. Most of the time that results in some of the best pics.

I took this image early last week. I spent most of the morning walking around Constitution Gardens. I always find myself going back there in the fall. I love the trees and reflections you can get from the water, but this day was a little rough. The sunrise wasn’t much to look at because it was so cloudy. The trees weren’t very colorful yet so I didn’t get much from the pond. Sometimes you win some, sometimes you loose some. I don’t get upset. It just happens.

So I decided to keep walking and I ended up by the Washington Monument. Luckily, there were some beautiful yellow trees along Constitution Ave. that I didn’t notice while I was driving. It was like the branches were reaching toward me screaming, “take my picture, take my picture”. I found a couple that perfectly framed the Washington Monument and played around with the composition. I think my favorite part of the image is seeing the branches themselves. I think it’s really interesting to follow each twist and turn and see where they end up.

What about you? I’d love to know what you like about the image.

My camera settings for this image is F4.5 at 1/400th of a second at ISO 320 with my Sony A7II and 28-70mm lens.

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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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Reflections from yesterday. Reflections for today. I bet I could go on all week with just reflection images. I think I’ll try. They’re one of my favorite things to shoot. It’s just so exciting when you see a nice one, especially in a puddle or something like that where it’s unexpected.

But even the Tidal Basin can be unexpected sometimes. The water can get kinda choppy and the reflection won’t be as visible. I’m pretty sure I got lucky this day. With an awesome sunrise, great colors and a great reflection. While post processing this image, I intentionally edited it so the colors went from cool to warm. Love the way that it looks and sort of completes the story of the sunrise. That way you know which direction the sun is coming from and where it’s about to hit. At times like this, you can also see the Washington Monument glow orange from the sun light. It didn’t happen this day, but it’s my absolute favorite when it does happen.

The settings for this image is F/14 at 1/8th of a second and ISO 90 with my Sony A7ii and 16-35mm wide angle lens.

By the way, I received the 2018 Dynamic DC Calendars over the weekend and AHHHHH they look sooo good! I always get so nervous about the final product, but I’m pretty sure that this year’s calendar is my favorite out of all the years that I’ve been doing this. I’m going to start shipping them out later this week so if you ordered one, be on the look out and let me know what you think. If you love it, take a selfie with it. I’d love to see where you hang them and your beautiful face.

If you haven’t gotten yours yet, make sure to get it now. There aren’t much left.

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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.Ā  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!Ā And have your camera ready right at take off or when you are descending. It’sĀ  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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A quick break from autumn Maine images to show off Washington DC’s beautiful sunrise from yesterday. Sunrise is around 7:15ish now, so I have to take advantage of the later wake up call while I can. I shot this at the Tidal Basin on the little footbridge between the Jefferson Memorial and theĀ Franklin Delano Roosevelt memorial. It’s an angle that I’ve always wanted, but wasn’t sure I could get. I’m so glad it actually worked out this time.

Since I’ve been shooting DC sunrises for years now, I’m finding it to be a challenge to photograph it in new, different ways. I was super happy with the way this one turned out. My favorite part about the image is the color change between the two peep holes. The transition from cool to warm tones in a photograph is always something I strive for. I feel like it completes the whole color story and really adds a lot of dimension in a photograph. Plus the reflections of the Washington Monument and Jefferson Memorial look super cool too.

In order to capture this, my camera settings were F/6.3 at 1/20th of a second and ISO 200 with my Sony A7II and 16-35mm wide angle lens. This was shot handheld although I did try to shoot it with my tripod. I just couldn’t get the tripod at the level that I wanted and I was constantly moving around to make sure the the monuments were centered, so the tripod just didn’t work out. Now that I think of it, I must have looked like I was spying on someone while I was sitting on the sidewalk and moving my neck all around to make sure everything lined up correctly. LOL, oh well. It’s not the first time I looked crazy for an image.