american flags

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I love how the city gets so patriotic during the 4th of July. Anywhere you walk you can see flags everywhere. But the Willard InterContinental on Pennsylvania Avenue always sticks out in my mind as being one of my favorites. I’ve noticed that every year they will hang American flags outside each of the hotel windows and it just looks so cool from afar.

But for some reason or another, I’ve tried so hard to capture these flags but couldn’t get an image I was happy with. I may have first noticed them 3 years ago. I even tried photographing them last year and said: “Oh well, next year”. But this year was going to be the year.

I had an image in my head of what I wanted to capture ahead of time and I knew I was going to take my time around this building to make sure I got it. Although when I arrived some of the flags were twisted around the pole, this is pretty much what I had in my mind. I love how the white building is the perfect contrast to the flags. But it’s all the horizontal lines and repetition that really gets me. If I ever had a big office building, I’d want to do the same thing.

To be 100% honest though, I’ve been so busy with photographing things for other people and projects that it’s been a while since I had gone out to shoot just for myself. I went out for a little photo-therapy and it felt great. I’ve realized it something that I need to make a priority to do at least once a week, even when its one of those super busy weeks where it seems like I don’t have time. I can’t let it slip anymore.

My camera settings for this image is F8 at 1/160th sec and ISO 500 with my Sony A7II and 70-200mm zoom.

 

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It’s official. I’ve officially caught spring fever and over the cold winter weather. You can now bring on the warmer temps and longer days. I’m ready! But in case you missed it, I’ve updated my cherry blossom guide with everything you need to know about photographing the beautiful flowers. From my favorite trees at the Tidal Basin to other places where you can catch the flowers blooming around the city. It’s all there. And of course, if you have any other questions about the cherry blossoms, please let me know in the comments. I’ll try my best to answer them.

But while I’m actually waiting for my spring dreams to come true, I figured I may as well load up on all the winter snow images I have while they’re still relevant. LOL. Things like this is why people always think I think ahead.

Anyways, this image was taken during our biggest snowfall of the year. It’s not really saying much since we didn’t get THAT much accumulation this season but it was still fun to capture. Like I said in my previous blog, I ended up taking the metro into the city and ended my day at the Smithsonian stop. This image was captured closer to the final destination but there was something that compelled me to turn around and take one last look at the Washington Monument when I saw this scene. I just loved how the trees were flanking and framing the obelisk. But I think my favorite part is looking at the very bottom of he image and seeing all the details. I don’t know why but I think it’s because those American flags and light posts are usually captured to be larger than life but when you see them in reference to the trees, they look so tiny. Definitely a new way of looking at these “everyday” things.

My camera settings for this image is F7.1 at 1/1600th sec and ISO 800 with my Sony A7II and 70-200mm zoom.

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I’ve consistently been writing this blog for years. I love doing it but from time to time I feel like I’ve run out of things to say and I’ll start making things up. LOL.  I figured that’s not the right way to do it.  So I’m hoping I could get your feedback. I figured I could get a list going and it would help me create more content of things you would like to see.

If you have just 10 minutes, I’d really appreciate if you could drop me a line and help me answer some of these questions:

What brought you to this blog in the first place? How did you find me?
Are you a photographer? Tell me about your photo background. Or are you a travel kinda person and just here for the images? If so, tell me about your travels!
Is there anything that I can help you with? Whether it’s improving your photography, finding places in Washington DC to photograph, etc?
What keeps you coming back to the blog?

Thank you in advance for any feedback you can provide me. Feel free to send me an email: [email protected] or hit me up on any of my social medias: @abpanphoto or anything! I’m pretty much everywhere.

As for this image, I took it a couple of months ago with my friend, Christa. I remember it being a really cold evening but that didn’t stop us from photographing the sunset. As soon as I stepped out on this terrace, I fell in love with the location. It’s just such a unique point of view of the Washington Monument and Jefferson Memorial. I honestly never realized how close Regan National Airport is to the National Mall. So awesome!

My camera settings for this image is F5.6 at 0.4 seconds at ISO 800 with my Sony A7II and 70-200mm lens.

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On Monday night before I went to bed, I checked the weather like I always do. It called for fog in the morning so I set my alarm to wake up for sunrise. I didn’t have any real plans of where I was going to go, I just knew I wanted to go somewhere near water. So I figured the reflecting pool would be cool.

I walked around and nothing really was catching my attention so I made my way over to the Vietnam Veterans Memorial. I figured with all the Memorial day festivities that it may be cool. I was wrong. It was freakin’ amazinggggg. I don’t know why I’ve never done it before.

There were so many flowers, notes, and just little tokens of appreciation to our veterans. I even saw cans of beer. It was one of the most touching displays of affection that I have seen in a very long time. I took the time out to read some of the notes that were left there and I just can’t even imagine what friends and family had to go through during this period of time. I can’t even imagine what the men and women who severed our country had to go through during this time either. I am so grateful for all of their sacrifices. If not for you, I would not have the beautiful life I have today. I have so much respect and gratitude to you, veterans. Veterans of then and veterans now. Thank you.

At the end of the wall were just a whole bunch of American flags. I loved the repetition and how they were reflecting in the memorial. I think the fog really helped to capture the mood too.

My camera settings for this image is F5.0 at 1/200th of a second and ISO 800 with my Sony A7II and 16-35mm wide angle lens.

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This image! This image was taken just a few minutes before I took this one. Do you see how the yellow glow from the fog just made us walk down that path? It kinda felt like you were in the movie, ‘Ghost’ where that light shines on you and you know it’s your time to go. LOL. But definitely not as serious.

Fun fact about Ghost: My mom used to sing Unchained Melody  ALL THE TIME on the karaoke machine while I was growing up. I could probably sing you the whole song without even listening to the music because she sang it that much. And it will sound almost the same as the Righteous Brothers. LOL JK. It will be better.

Obviously my favorite part of this image is the fog that is coming out of the trees. I love looking at that one section of the image and then it leads my eye to the person walking next to the reflecting pool. I don’t know why but it just makes everything seem so big, especially compared to that person. The 70-200mm lens that I was using definietly helped with the compression and made the scale look that exaggerated.

This winter has been great for fog and crazy gloomy weather like that. I wonder what it will bring for spring. So far it’s been so cold that it doesn’t feel like the seasons have changed at all. The cherry blossoms have now been pushed back to expected peak date 8-12th of April. Hopefully it will actually bloom at that time but who really knows with this crazy weather. In all honesty though, spring can’t come soon enough.

My settings for this image is F5.6 at 1/640th of a second at ISO 200 with my Sony A7II and 70-200mm lens handheld.

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I have this song playing in the background as I’m writing this blog post. 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 🙂

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.