Confused by what sights to see on your short visit to Washington DC?
There are so many monuments, memorials, and museums. Where do you even start?
If want to know the absolute best of the best things to see in Washington DC, keep on scrolling. This guide is for you!
I’ve lived in the Washington DC area my entire life and in that time I’ve gotten to know the city very well. It has changed so much in the past few years that it may be hard to keep up with all the new and fun things to see. Sometimes I even think it’s hard to keep up with all that is going on. There have been new museums, memorials and points of interest that would be fun for a solo traveler as well as families all at the same time.
So in this guide, I will share some highlights of my favorite sights as a Washington DC native and photographer.
This is a portrait of my friend, Albert from one of Artechouse’s installations earlier this summer. I love it because of the cool lights in the background, the color, the mood but my favorite part of this image is because it is of Albert.
I’ve known him from a few years now and have been following him on instagram even longer than that. But it hasn’t been until the past year where I have really gotten to know him. We’ve spent some beautiful mornings together taking pictures and have spent some amazing evenings together talking and laughing. We have a lot of things in common, one of the main things being photography but he just inspires me so much every time we get together. I am always amazed by his images but what I love most about him is that he is not afraid to be himself. I mean look at this!
But because of him, my interest in street photography and portraiture has grown so much. Even when I’m standing right next to him, he can see things that just pass me by. He has taught me to be more patient, not care what anyone else thinks and I appreciate him so much for that.
To be honest, I don’t think he reads my blog or will ever know that I’m writing this about him. But I just would like him to know how much he inspires me to be me and how much I value his friendship. Thank you, Pootie! Hope we can get together soon after I get back from California to catch up and take more pics <3
My camera settings for this image is F4.0 at 1/500th of a second at ISO 5000 with my Sony A7II and 16-35mm wide angle lens. Have I mentioned how much I love this camera in low light situations?
So after my lightning practice last week at the Jefferson Memorial aiming at the Washington Monument, I had another opportunity to shoot lightning the very next day. This time I was at the Artechouse, which you should definietly go visit. Their latest exhibit is probably my favorite so far. It’s a celebration of lights that really can not be missed. Anyways, I was about to leave the exhibit when I got an alert on my phone saying that lightning struck 3 miles away from my current location. So you know what that means right? Leave asap so you can go storm chasing!
I figured that the US Capitol was the closest, cool looking building to me. Luckily it hadn’t started raining yet and I always have my tripod in my car so I parked as close as I could to the Capitol and made my way over. I had a blast! The wind was blowing and the lightning strikes were crazy big. While I was at the Jefferson Memorial, I had to wait some time between each strike maybe a 2-3 minutes but this time they were coming every 15-20 seconds. It was AWESOMEEEE. I was out there for only 30 minutes or so before the real big rain hit but I’m super happy with the way that this turned out.
Every time the lighting struck it would light up the sky to this amazing blue/purple color. It was such a beautiful show. There were even people who were leaving the Capitol that couldn’t help but to stop and take selfies. Such an exiting night to say the least. I ran back to the car as soon as the rain really started to pick up and it was all good in the neighborhood.
Earlier this week I had the pleasure of attending the Artechouse‘s preview event for their latest installation called “Sakura Yume | Cherry Blossom Dream”. It definietly hyped me up for the real Cherry Blossoms blooming later this month!
One of my favorite things about visiting the Artechouse is the peaceful atmosphere it creates. The room is very dark, they have beautiful, calming music playing and everyone just seems to relax and enjoy the installation. This one in particular was very cool because 1. I love cherry blossoms and 2. it seemed like there were little surprises at every corner. For example in the main room, if you stood there and watched the wall for a while you’ll see a koi fish swim past or some Japanese lettering floating around. It was definietly a very cool experience.
However my favorite part was in the room where they are going to have their immersive food experience. It looks so cool. Basically everyone sits down on a cushion on the floor and you can ‘play’ with the table and watch all these colors and shapes appear right before you.
Here’s an image of what it looks like.
I took this pic with my iphone. Between the tables are columns of these cherry blossom branches. It seemed like the perfect place to have a little photoshoot.
So if you haven’t seen any of their other installations or if you’re a cherry blossom fan like me, definietly go and check it out. It’s probably one of my favorites that they’ve had there. If you’re interested, here’s are a few images from past visits.
My camera settings for this image is F4.0 at 1/100th of a second at ISO 5000 with my Sony A7II and 16-35mm wide angle lens. Like I said before, this room is super dark and no tripods. I love this camera in low light situations!
It’s what we’ve been waiting for all year! Happy Thanksgiving! This song will be playing on repeat today to celebrate the holiday. And it is also day 4 to of this week long series of gratitude on the blog which is going to be for my family.
I know I don’t talk about them much on my blog. Mostly because they aren’t usually with me while I’m taking pics or something like that but I know in my heart that they are always there for me no matter what. When I initially told my parents that I wanted to quit my job and become a full time artist, there was definietly a lot of concerns and discussions. They were not thrilled at my decision but they also knew that if I put my mind to something, I’m going to do it. No matter what they thought.
Now, my family are some of the most supportive people I have in my corner. Whether it’s my mom forwarding all my newsletters to her friends, my dad always asking me how photo is going and giving me suggestions, or even my cousins liking my pictures every time I post them on social media, I know they are super proud of me and I’m so extremely grateful for them.
This image that I chose to be today’s photo is a little different for a Thanksgiving post, I know. It’s from Artechouse’s newest exhibit called, Kingdom of Colors. If you haven’t already, you gotta check out this space. This part was my favorite out of the whole experience. Watching the smoke or water or whatever it was coming down and falling on to the flowers. It was just so beautiful. And totally reminded me of my mom who was the one who taught me to appreciate flowers in the first place, so I thought this would be perfect for her.
Back again to the Artechouse for their new exhibit, Spirit of Autumn. To be honest, I didn’t think I’d like it as much as I did. If I had to compare it to their previous exhibit, XYZT, it’s crazy to say but I think I liked Spirit of Autumn more.
XYZT was cool because the gallery was divided into smaller sections and there was a lot more to interact with. But the Spirit of Autumn was colorful, beautiful and so fun. This image was taken in the smaller side room. It kinda felt like you were walking through a lava lamp the whole time. But the best part was being able to manipulate where the lights and colors would go. My friend, Reem and I probably spent half the time in this room just going “WOW!”
The main room had 3 walls projecting huge trees that would sway in the “wind”. I think the coolest part was the fact that the leaves were all drawn by people who have visited the exhibit. For example, here’s my leaf. I tried my best to make a tie-dye leaf (now you know why I’m a photographer and not a painter).
10 seconds later, it was on a tree swaying with the other leaves. Soooo COOL! It’s also an auditory exhibit. If you clap your hands loud enough, it would start raining and thunder storming. And if you’re over 21, they have an alcoholic drink that if you put your camera phone on it, it will look like leaves are floating out of it. Unfortunately, I didn’t get to experience this but I heard from the grape vine that it’s really cool and delicious all at the same time.
So if you’re in the DC area, you gotta go check out this exhibit. It’s unlike anything you’ve experienced before. Trust me. Click here for more info. Go soon! The exhibit closes on November 5th.