columns

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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.

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Last but not least is my favorite image in the whole series. I took this image at the very end of my time shooting sunrise at the National Mall. As you can see I started this week off right outside the Lincoln Memorial, then I went inside, then back to the reflecting pool, and went up the stairs to go to the Lincoln and ended right back inside the Lincoln Memorial. The whole hour I out shooting the sunrise I just walked back and forth between the two landmarks. So instead of coming out with one image, I was able to come out with 5 really cool images that I love. So next time you go out to photograph any location, I hope you keep this series in mind. I think it is a cool example of how many different perspectives you can get if you just keep walking.

By this point the sun was fully out and shining bright inside the Lincoln Memorial. My natural tendencies would lead me to go right but this time I felt the need to go left. I began photographing President Lincoln through the columns but I wasn’t happy with the images that were coming out. I was about to leave when I stopped in the corner of the interior and noticed all the amazing shadows the columns were creating. To be honest, I waited for about 15 minutes for someone to show up. Some kind of foreground element to make this image a little more interesting. The closest thing that I got was the shadow figure on the left hand side. Someone who looked like they were about to come in but for some reason did not. Either way, I still love all the lines and repetition in this image.

My camera settings for this image is F8 at 1/125th of a second at ISO 640 with my Sony A7II and 16-35mm wide angle lens.

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While I was busy storm chasing the other day, I didn’t even notice the sunset that was happening. I figured with so much rain, cloudiness and overall darkness going on that we weren’t even going to get a sunset. I was totally wrong. It was this incredibly glowing pink, orange, purple color. I’m not sure if I’ve ever seen anything like it and was completely shocked when I did. Man at least I saw it for the last 5 minutes because I would have been real upset if I missed it.

I was standing in between the columns when I noticed the glow out of the corner of my left eye. I scrambled inside the memorial because I knew the only way to shoot with a cool foreground and not stand in the rain was to shoot the Jefferson statue. I am so glad there are little openings all the way around the memorial because I love the way this image turned out. The reflection on the marble floor is super nice too. I consciously made an effort to include that in the image while I was shooting.

The sunset lasted about 5 minutes (for me at least) and then I went right back to my spot in between the columns to shoot the lightning. Overall it was a great night for photography and I am so glad I was able to go out.

Funny though, the first song that I heard on the radio when I got back into my car was Lightning Crashes by Live. That song brings back so many childhood memories for me. LOL. Mostly of me sneaking into my brothers room and listening to his cd collection.

The settings for this image is F5.6 at 0.4 seconds at ISO 400 with my Sony A7II and 16-35mm and a tripod.

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I didn’t take this image this past Saturday, I took it a couple years ago but it is still one of my favorite snow images I’ve taken.  There are so many things going on in this image but its still so simple. I love the white on white tonality. I also really enjoy how you can barely see the Washington Monument. But my favorite part is seeing the little bit of reflection on the floor surface of the Lincoln Memorial with the little puddles of water and snow blocking the entirety. I think it’s little details like that make the image so interesting to look at.

But what do you think? Would you rather have one more good blanket of snow? or are you ready for spring flowers? I think I could go for one more snow day. But please keep it in February. I don’t want them messing with the Cherry Blossoms again like it did last year.

My camera settings for this image is F7.1 at 1/125th of a second at ISO 100 with my Canon 5D Mark II and 24-105mm lens. LOL I told you this was an older image. You know because I shot this on my Canon.

Which is funny because recently I’ve had quite a few people asking me about switching camera brands. To be honest, I love my Sony and I can’t imagine ever going back to Canon. No offense to Canon but that camera is just a beast. Its so big and bulky and after a while it just got to be too much to carry around on my back. I’m so happy with Sony. I love how easy and free I feel with my camera now. I really can’t imagine shooting with any other camera other than a mirrorless one. I’m hooked!

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I know I don’t usually do this but its my blog and I do what I want.

LOL

Last week I met up with my friend, Albert for what I thought was just going to be a regular, casual coffee date but turned out to be at this amazing new coffee shop that just opened up in DC. It’s an Australian inspired coffee shop called Bluestone Lane.

As soon as you walk inside, you know that it was going to be something special. I mean can we talk about these columns and that window wall? It’s literally like a pinterest/hipster dream. At one point in time the windows were reflecting this amazing rainbow on our table and on all of the floors. I mean how could you not fall in love? I’m just glad I had my camera with me so I could capture this as we were leaving.

I ordered the matcha latte and it was probably the best one I’ve ever had in my life. I’ve been craving it ever since we left. I don’t know if I’ve ever said this publicly, but I don’t actually drink coffee. I think in all of 2017, I may have had a cup less than 10 times in the whole year. It is not a secret or anything, I just don’t think it has ever come up. But I heard Bluestone Lane’s coffee is fantastic. Who knows, maybe next time I will give it a try. I do know that next time I go, I’m definietly trying more of their food. Avocado toast? YES PLEASE! 🙂

Welcome to the District, Bluestone Lane! Can’t wait to go back for more.

My camera settings for this image is F5.0 at 1/800th of a second at ISO 320 with my Sony A7II and 16-35mm wide angle lens.