columns

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On particularly sunny days, just after the sunrises be sure to look at the Lincoln Memorial. I know I’ve mentioned it before, but the way that the sun glows on the memorial is probably one of the best things in DC.

And there aren’t too many people who are out at that time of day either. Usually, you will see a few photographers, some Park Police but even more runners. I’ve never actually run on the National Mall but I see a lot of them sprinting up the stairs of the Lincoln Memorial for a final push. This is one of those runners. After running up the stairs, he put his arms behind his head to get a breath of air. I love how his shadow was perfectly aligned with the Lincoln Memorial wall.

My camera settings for this image are F4 at 1/8000th sec and ISO 800 with my Sony A7II and 70-200mm.

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Man, I take a lot of pictures at the Lincoln Memorial. LOL. It’s hard not to though. Especially with the US Capitol and the Jefferson Memorial currently under construction, it sort of limits the monuments and memorials to go to in the National Mall.

However, this image was taken as I was leaving the memorial parks and headed back to my car. I noticed how great the columns looked and loved even more that there were two people peaking their heads out trying to capture the early morning sky with their own cameras.

I think this day was unusual though. It was still very early in the morning and all of a sudden a busload of tourists came walking in. They usually don’t get there that early so I think that may have been one reason why I left so early. That and the fact that it was 20 degrees out. 20 DEGREES! I was wearing so many layers of clothing that you probably heard me swishing back to my car. But the sky that morning made it all worth it!

My camera settings for this image are F4 at 1/1250th sec and ISO 1000 with my Sony A7II and 70-200mm zoom.

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Sunday was a busy photography day for me because not only did I capture the Chinese New Year Parade in Chinatown, but I also went out and photographed the sunrise earlier in the day. I met up with some other photo friends at the Washington Monument. The sunrise itself wasn’t the best, but when the sun finally peaked over the horizon, it made the city glow.

At first, it was the reflection in the reflecting pool that attracted me to this scene. I just love how even from so far away, you can see the columns so clearly. But then looking at the little details of this image is what really makes me so happy. I love seeing all the people standing at the edge of the pool. They look so little compared to the enormous memorial. And while I was framing this image in my camera, I did notice the birds fly by so I’m glad I was able to capture them in the frame. They add a bit more interest to the top of the image that I like. But my favorite part is that if you zoom into this image, you can still see the Lincoln statue so clearly inside the memorial! So cool if you ask me!

My camera settings for this image are F4 at 1/1250th second and ISO 400 with my Sony A7II and 70-200mm zoom lens.

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I still have a ton more images from Taiwan to share but taking a little break from them with some images I captured even before I left. I almost forgot that I spent a little time walking around the John F Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts one cloudy afternoon in Mid-November.

It’s great how the Kennedy Center allows visitors even when there are no events or performances going on. You are free to roam the interior around the Hall of Nations or even the exterior on the rooftop terrace. It’s a great place to just sit and appreciate just how great Washington DC is. Everything is just so grand and awe-inspiring in this venue. Just thinking about all the people who have walked through the halls and how many performances have taken place here is amazing.

As I was walking around the outside of the building, I noticed this woman walking very fast. I have no idea where she was going, but she matched perfectly with the gold exterior and fall colors. She was just screaming to have her picture taken at this moment.

My camera settings for this image are F7.1  at 1/640th sec and ISO 500 with my Sony A7II and 70-200mm zoom lens.

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One morning I found myself walking around the US Capitol with my 70-200mm in hand. It was right before Christmas and other than capturing the capitol Christmas tree, I wanted to get some images that weren’t just of the holidays.

So here’s a little secret, one of my favorite places to be is on the west side of the Capitol facing east at sunrise. It sounds counterintuitive but once the sun comes up a little bit, I love how it shines bright onto the building’s facade. With the beautiful architecture, columns, and everything else, the sun can create some interesting shadows and make the lines really pop.

I loved the way these columns looked from a distant angle. At first I was standing a little further back when I noticed the patterns they were creating. There was no way I was able to capture it without some blue sky so I kept walking a little bit closer and closer until I could finally fill the entire frame with it. With the warm sunlight shining bright on top and the dark shadows in the tunnels underneath, I thought it was a really interesting composition.

A few moments after I captured this image, a Capitol Police officer came out from the columns and it was an almost perfect focal point to capture. I was so excited and snapped a few images but then my camera battery died and the officer went back into the columns 🙁 I think I’ll be back sometime soon to try to recreate this and hopefully have some warm sunlight shining as well. Either way though, I really love the way it turned out. It makes me feel all warm and happy inside.

My camera settings for this image is F4 at 1/8000th sec at ISO 800 with my Sony A7II and 70-200mm zoom lens.

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I need to start marking my calendars better because I feel like I’m always missing the moon phases. Last week there was an amazingly beautiful full moon rise and I found all about it on social media. It’s all good though because I would not have been able to capture it on the best day to see it but I still would have like to know. Lol.

My invitation must have gotten lost in the mail or something. So I went out the next morning way before sunrise to photograph the full moon setting and it was still so beautiful.

In my head I wanted to capture the moon in the corner of the Lincoln Memorial so I started off by the WWII Memorial. I figured the opposite end of the reflecting pool may be a good place to start and probably where I’d stand the entire time. After about 10 minutes I got bored so I started walking along the edge of the pool to see what if there was anything more to offer. The more I walked the more I realized all the compositions I was missing by just standing at the reflecting pool edge. I’ve learned my lesson though. Next time I want to photograph the moonset, I need to start at the Lincoln Memorial and move backwards.

This image was taken when I finally arrived at the Lincoln Memorial. As you can see, I was so close to it that it almost looks like the moon is almost ready to dip below the horizon. Had I started here earlier, then it would have probably been a little more interesting and something more of what I had in mind. Regardless, I still like it 🙂

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