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Thanks to my friend, Birch who invited me to go with her to photograph the sunset parade at the Lincoln Memorial performed by the United States Marine Drum and Bugle Corps. It was my first time attending and I didn’t really know what to expect. This year was the first year it was held on the National Mall. Previously they were at Iwo Jima because I imagine they have lots of room there, but I think the Lincoln Memorial was the perfect setting. I loved how the area between the Lincoln Memorial and Reflecting Pool was closed but you were still able to wander around and get shots from various places.

If you’re interested in checking it out, click here for the official website however make sure to check their Facebook before you actually go. Birch and I tried to go a few weeks ago and it got canceled a few hours earlier because of a storm and they announced it on their Facebook. I’d highly recommend it if you have some free time.

Going to the parade, I knew I wanted to concentrate mostly on the repetition and pattern. Looking at previous images, I loved how the red jackets popped off the screen. However, I found myself liking my images with black jackets more. For some reason it just all goes so nicely together. It just makes the scene look a little more minimal which I like.

I ended up taking a ton of images so expect to see more of these in the future 🙂

My camera settings for this image is F6.3 at 1/320th sec and ISO 500 with my Sony A7II and 70-200mm zoom lens.

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I did it. I went back to the sunflower fields again. But this time, I went with IGDC. I was a little reluctant to go last weekend because it was just so hot and humid out but I’m so glad I did.

It was so great to see so many of my friends and going out and taking pictures with them. It made the whole experience so different. I felt like I was able to see the sunflowers in a different light. Instead of just concentrating on the blooms, I was more interested in the interactions of my friends with the sunflowers. While some people brought ladders and drones, others had props like picture frames and colorful umbrellas. It was pretty interesting to see the kind of shots everyone was trying to take.

At one point, I was asked to go out into the middle of the field with the umbrella to pose for some images. I agreed and my friend, Birch said that she would go in the middle with me. After my job as “model” was done, Birch and I took some time to just stay in the middle of the field to take some pictures of our own. Luckily, we brought out this ladder so we had an elevated view of the field.

But when it was Birch’s turn on the ladder, I thought it would be interesting to see if I could get a sun flair or something coming from her shoulder. I got some shots but then I ducked down a little bit and loved the way this super tall sunflower was framing her. I love how you’re able to get the sunflower petals on top of the image but also see sunflowers in the distance. A shot I probably would have never gotten if I kept on going to the sunflowers by myself 🙂

My camera settings for this image is F22 and 1/60th of a sec and ISO 200 with my Sony A7II and 16-35mm wide-angle lens.

PS: click here to see this image on the Washingtonian

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If you’re in the Washington DC area and you have no plans this weekend, definitely go check out the Washington Monument on the National Mall. The Smithsonian Institution’s National Air and Space Museum is celebrating the 50th anniversary of the moon landing and they are projecting a life-size version of the Apollo 11 lunar spacecraft. It’s been going on every day since Tuesday at 9:30 pm but if you go on Friday or Saturday at 9:30 pm, 10:30 pm, or 11:30 pm, they will have a 17-minute presentation of what it was like when the spacecraft took off.

I hope to be there Friday but trust me when I say this is way cooler in person. I don’t think I’ve ever seen anything projected on the Washington Monument like that and it’s just a great time sitting on the national mall and watching it go.

I captured this image on the first night of the projection on Tuesday evening. We sat right by 15th street and I don’t think a lot of people on the street knew what was going on. There were so many pedestrians, scooter riders and car drivers who just stopped in the middle of the road. At one point the police had to even come, turn on their lights to clear everyone out. So I thought I’d take advantage of the foreground and really show what it’s like being there. It sort of reminds me of Stranger Things, right? LOL

My camera settings for this image is F4.5 at 3.2 sec and ISO 100 with my Sony A7II and 16-35mm wide-angle lens

 

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These summer storms have been getting intense. And it seems like they’re happening almost every day, right?

I’m so happy I was able to get out and photograph the skies in between some downpours in order to get this shot. It had been a while since I’ve been to the Tidal Basin so I completely forgot that the Jefferson Memorial is now under scaffolding. Hopefully, it won’t last too long because it’s just to clean the top of the dome, but with Washington DC, who knows.

To quote my friend, Larry “DC means doing construction” LOL.

Like I said, this was photographed in the middle of some downpours. I was there just around sunset when I noticed the rainbow so I immediately had to pull over. All of a sudden, the second rainbow out of the top of the Jefferson Memorial showed up. I was so excited. I was standing on Kutz Bridge in order to capture this and I even heard cars driving past and people going “Ouuu double rainbow”. LOL.

Hopefully, there will be some more storms in the future and I’ll be able to capture some lightning strikes. Those are always so exciting to capture.

My camera settings for this image is F8 at 1/20th sec and ISO 100 with my Sony A7II and 70-200mm zoom lens.

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The third best thing about summer- sunflower fields!

The first is obviously the beach, the second being fireworks, and then comes sunflowers. LOL.

But if you’re in the DC, Maryland, Virginia area, I highly recommend stopping by McKee Beshers Wildlife Management Area. There are rows and rows of sunflowers, at times it can feel endless. Plus they have multiple fields, so if one isn’t looking it’s best or too crowded, it’s really simple just to hop to the next field. But there aren’t really any signs for the fields so be sure to check out this map before you go.

On this visit, I decided to try to get a little bit closer to the sunflowers. Not necessarily macro shots like I have done in the past, but using one flower to frame the other. This particular flower caught my attention because I liked how some of the pedals were folded in. I thought I’d use the flower in the foreground to sort of fill in that spot.

But while I was out photographing the sunflowers last week, I was just reflecting on all the times I’ve photographed these summer flowers. It’s crazy to think how many times I’ve been to this sunflower fields. Check out this video from 8 years ago! Talk about a blast from the past:

Yes, I miss my long hair too.

Yes, I still feel like running through the fields every time I go. LOL

I definitely want to go back at least one more time this season to try to capture some more of these yellow beauties.

My camera settings for this image is F7.1 at 1/1000th second and ISO 320 with my Sony A7II and 70-200mm zoom.

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Sunrise has been pretty rough these days. A 4 am wake-up alarm is not my ideal time to be woken up, especially in the summertime but sometimes it’s necessary. Like last week when I finally made my way to the Lincoln Memorial for sunrise after what seemed like forever. The sunrise itself wasn’t that great but the early morning glow was what made it all worth it.

I met up with my friend, Birch who I haven’t seen in what feels like even longer than my last Lincoln Memorial photo walk. We mostly caught up with life while chasing the light around the reflecting pool. This image was taken from the Lincoln Memorial looking towards the National Mall. We were kinda standing around with cameras in hand when this guy on the bike just showed up. The perfect silhouette to the Monument.

The scene itself seemed a little off balance with most of the interesting elements on the left-hand side, so I solved it by cutting off the right-hand side with a column from the Lincoln Memorial. I love how it framed all the necessary elements of the image but also created some interesting layers.

BTW, when is the Washington Monument finally going to open? I’m ready to go back!

My camera settings for this image is F5 at 1/5000 and ISO 800 with my Sony A7II and 70-200mm.