capitol

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I realized that it’s been a while since I’ve posted a good old fashioned DC landmark image at sunrise. It’s probably what I’m best known for and where I got most of my photography practice, so I figured it was time to share another. Back in the day, I used to share these kinds of images every day. I really believe that it pushed me to develop my photo-eye and since then, I can see how I’ve really grown as a photographer. But don’t get me wrong, I still find myself waking up early in the morning to photograph the landmarks. I just don’t share them as often as I used to. Maybe I’m just more particular about the way they turn out now…

One thing I love about this blog is having a visual diary of all the images I’ve taken. Looking back, I have seriously changed my style a lot. I could not be more grateful for everything the Washington landmarks have taught me and would never stop loving wondering the National Mall at all crazy hours of the morning.

This image was taken back in September when the Washington Monument had just re-opened. It was fenced off for the entire 3 years that it was under construction so I had been missing the views that you can only get from this iconic landmark. I remember it being a really cloudy morning, I didn’t expect any color but I didn’t care. I just wanted to go photograph the Monument without any fences. I was so excited to see that pink come in. It only lasted for a few minutes, but it made everything worth it.

My camera settings for this image are F13 at 1/10th sec and ISO 800 with my Sony A7II and 70-200mm zoom lens.

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So do you remember how last week I was saying how I needed to bring my macro lens out when its raining? I did it! It rained again and my very first stop was to go back to the US Botanical Gardens. Even though it was already closed and I wasn’t able to go inside, I was still able to walk around the front entrance. There were a couple of succulent display and they were already beautiful as is. But my favorite part was how the water droplets didn’t go inside the succulents or get soaked up by them, they were just floating on top. It was so beautiful. I don’t think I’ve ever seen such well formed water droplets as I had on these succulents. This is why I needed my macro lens. There was no way I would have been able to capture all these little details with just my wide angle or even zoom.

But to be honest, I still haven’t fully switched to sony lenses. I was still using my 100mm canon lens with my metabones adaptor. It definietly slowed down the process as I was trying to make sure everything that I wanted to be in focus was sharp but I don’t know if that’s necessary a bad thing. I took my time and was happy with the outcome. I haven’t shot macro in so long and I’m happy to be dusting it off again. Soon enough I’ll get a macro sony lens. If you have any recommendations, let me know!

The settings for this image was F9 at 1/80th of a second and ISO 800 handheld. It was still cloudy from the storm and getting that close up was difficult. I had to bump up my ISO to make sure the exposure was fast enough.

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I made this picture last week in between creating this one and this one. There was about a 30 minute window from when the rainbow faded and when the sun was about to go down. At first I was thinking I should just go back to my car and sit in the air conditioning for a little while, then I stumbled upon some flowers and got all distracted. The flowers were right in front of the United States Botanical Gardens which is located very conveniently next to the US Capitol. At that time, it was already closed but it was nice being able to walk around the front area garden for a little while and capture some flowers and plants.

I was particularly drawn to this image. Straight out of the camera it had some beautiful tones that I knew I could bring out more in post processing. All I did was make the darks a little bit darker, I tried making the tips a little more yellow and put a little vignette around the image and called it a day. Pretty simple editing processes but I really like the result. I also love monotone green for some reason.  So if you’re interested in learning more about my post processing, you can check out this video tutorial here.

The water droplets add a little bit of extra texture that I enjoy as well. It was at this time that I decided that whenever it rains, I’m going to try to remember to bring my macro lens. It’s perfect for conditions like this and its been a while since I’ve actually used it. This particular image was taken with my 16-35mm wide angle. I envision a much more detailed image with the flowers and droplets in the future, just wait and see 🙂

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Although Netherlands Carillon is technically in Arlington, Virginia, you can get some of the best views of Washington DC here. This image was taken in the early morning during sunrise.

Click here to check out my guide to the 7 Best Places to Photograph the Sunrise in Washington DC.