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A lot has happened since my last blog post on protests in Washington DC. I have attended more protests and was able to capture a ton more images. As news about Black Lives Matter and protests continued every day, I tried my best to try to find unique locations and views of what was going on in the nation’s capital.

So after spending two days at the White House, I wanted to go somewhere different. I knew the BLM protests were happening all over the city, I just had to find them. So on Wednesday, June 3rd, I started a bit earlier in the day and went straight to the Lincoln Memorial. I saw some images of the National Guard all along the steps so I wanted to see it for myself.

But I may have been a little too early because there weren’t as many people as I thought there would be at the Lincoln Memorial so I headed to the US Capitol. The thing about these protests is that I don’t really know where they will pop up. I just sort of show up and hoped there will be people there.

So my luck at the US Capitol was about the same at the Lincoln Memorial. I overheard that I was about 30 minutes too late and most of the protestors that were there, had already left.

I made a loop around the US Capitol grounds and I was about to call it quits. I figured I’ve already captured some pretty good images that past few days, I knew I would be back for more so I didn’t want to push my luck. But there was just one more place that I wanted to check before leaving the city. I wanted to check out the Trump Hotel since it was on my way home and I figured that could be a good place for some action. On my way there, I noticed a bunch of police vehicles blocking off the road. I thought it was unusual but weaved in and out of the streets to try to get as close as I could to the hotel without being stopped. Once I got out of the car, I realized I was right in the middle of a walking protest! The police cars were there to make a safe path for the pedestrians. It was amazing to stumble upon them.

This group of protestors had just left the Trump hotel and was making there way back to the US Capitol so I had to follow them.

While walking to the US Capitol I couldn’t help but notice people helping people. People were handing out cold Gatorade and water, offering snacks and masks, and even medical aid.

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Monday, June 1st morning was the first day I went out to the White House in months. I don’t usually spend too much time photographing the iconic residence because honestly, it’s just not in the best location for sunrise/sunsets. That’s it.

But after a weekend of Black Lives Matters protests, riots, and looting, I had to go. I knew the city was going to look very different than it did just a week ago. So I woke up early in the morning to see if I could capture some of the rioting aftermath.

(L) Cash register found on the sidewalk (R) Broken glass storefront

It didn’t take long to find damage. I knew the White House was the epicenter of the weekend so I had planned to drive around until I found something. Turns out, I could have parked my car anywhere around there and see the destruction.

Windows smashed in from riots along Vermont Ave NW

I noticed a lot of people cleaning up the shattered glass of business storefronts and graffiti on walls while other people were making sure it doesn’t happen again by putting up boards over windows.

The morning after a lot of rioting and looting.

(L) DC Fire & EMS putting out fires from the night before (R) Graffiti seen on the street.

But going in the morning was not enough. I didn’t want to just create images of the wrecking, I wanted to photograph the protest. I wanted to photograph the people, emotions, and voices of the protest. Later in the afternoon, I found myself driving back into the city. 

For the most part, it was peaceful. People chanting “George Floyd,” “I can’t breathe,” and “No Justice, No Peace“. Most seemed determined to have their voices heard, others were there supporting them.

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This is probably the most minimalist image I’ve ever taken at the United States Capitol. But I love it.

I captured it this past Sunday while we were walking from the west to the east side. I saw the wispy clouds that were forming next to the Capitol so I quickly changed from my zoom to my wide-angle lens to try to capture it all. I could have very easily looked a little more to the right to try to capture this image of just clouds, but I love how the American flag is there just poking out of the corner. It’s very subtle but it is so patriotic. LOL.

For a little reference, here’s a better image of the same flag. It just comes out a little bit from the building.

My camera settings for this image are F4 at 1/1250th sec and ISO 160 with my Sony A7II and 16-35mm wide-angle lens.

 

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Home from another amazing weekend in New York. I seriously love going to that city and I don’t think I’ve ever said “photo” so much in my life. But it was all worth it because PhotoPlus was so much more than I expected. To be honest, it was a little overwhelming. So while I’m still digesting everything that happened, here’s a little image I captured of the General Andrew Jackson Statue located close to the White House in Washington DC right before I left on the trip.

My favorite part of this image is how simple it is, but I also love the framing. The American Flag in the background is the flag you see on top of the White House and it was just in perfect alignment with General Jackson and his hat. Patriotic but effortless all at the same time. LOL. I think the cloudy day even worked well for this shot to simplify this image even more.

I plan on spending the day going through the images I captured in New York over the weekend. More about that soon!

My camera settings for this image are F7.1 at 1/40th sec and ISO 400 with my Sony A7II and 70-200mm zoom lens.

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But of course, Memorial Day weekend is to honor those who have died in active military service.

On my way to Washington DC to photograph Rolling Thunder, I stopped by Arlington National Cemetery. I was riding the metro so it was just a quick stop off at Rosslyn Metro station and then a scooter ride to the cemetery. I didn’t expect to make this stop but I’m glad I did. I had never seen “Flags In“.

I think one of the most aesthetically pleasing parts about the Arlington National is the rows and rows of the perfectly lined white headstone. The patterns created can be hypnotizing. So with the American flags right next to them, it adds a little bit of color and it is so symbolic. Seeing so many American flags in a row is emotional. I wish I could have spent just a little more time photographing them but hopefully, I’ll plan my time better and try again next year.

This image was taken around 10:30a. The sun was definitely out so while walking around so I was purposely looking for a light/shadow composition. I was thinking it would be really cool to see some flags in the shadow but then have some emerging into the light. I stood underneath a large tree to capture it and I love the way it highlights that fourth flag in from the side. To get that really compressed look, I used my ultra zoom lens and got down real close to the ground. Almost eye level with the flags.

My camera setting for this image is F9 at 1/250th sec and ISO 640 with my Sony A7II and 70-200mm.