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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.

My 7 Favorite Must-See Sights in Washington DC:

 

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I know I just talked about this on my last blog post, but I’m still not over it. The difference between now and then was that I was able to actually go see the Martin Luther King Jr memorial print in person! Shout out to Shane who runs the social media for BWI and who arranged and escorted me to the different terminals and even outside to see the hanging. It was so cool to see it from all different perspectives. While walking through the terminals all I could think about was how all the people around me were able to see my work. It was the coolest thing ever.

The image above was from outside. Honestly, I thought I was going to have to wear the ear muffs and bright vest that you see everyone else wearing and was a little disappointed that I didn’t have to. LOL. Oh well, this probably came out a lot better that I didn’t have it. But you can see the size difference between me and the print. I mean that thing is big!

The print is hanging outside of Terminal C which is American Airlines but if you go to Terminal B, Southwest, you get a very nice view of the print. This was taken in a little food court area. I’m not sure if this guy is actually looking at the art but I wanted to capture some images of people looking like they were 🙂

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And this last image was taken in the observatory. It’s a direct view of the image and I could not be any prouder.

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Also seeing a little behind the scenes of the airport was fun too. I love airports. It’s always so exciting going to one because you know an adventure is right around the corner.

Thanks again BWI airport for selecting my image and for Shane who showed me around the airport. Now I’ll be even more tempted to fly out of BWI for my future travels 🙂

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Happy Friday! I have more good news 🙂 Remember this image from 2012? Probably not, but it was one of the first images I ever created of the Martin Luther King Jr Memorial in Washington DC. I remember when the memorial opened in August of 2011 at the Tidal Basin. Everyone was talking about it and it was just so exciting to go see. If I remember correctly, this image was taken at sunset. It’s hard to believe since there’s no one around. I just think that it was such a new memorial, not many tours were visiting it yet plus I remember it being pretty chilly while I was capturing it. So those two factors probably had a big role as to why it was so empty in the evening. If you go now in the evening, it would be nearly impossible to get a shot like this, no matter what the weather.

Well, fast forward 6 years later and this image is now hanging on the outside of the BWI Airport! AHHHH I haven’t been able to see it, mostly because it’s in the terminal and I would need an airplane ticket to go inside but it’s 22′ wide x 14.8′ tall. I heard it can be viewed from B Pier so if anyone is headed that way for holiday travel, please take a picture. I would love to see what it looks like in the day time.

Here’s an image that I received from the contractors who put it up.

BWI isn’t the usual airport I fly out of just because it’s further away from where I live, but I think I can make an exception for my next trip 🙂

Here’s one more view:

My camera settings for the original image is F8 at 0.3sec with ISO 320 with my Canon 5D Mark II and 24-105mm lens on a tripod.

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The National Gallery of Art is one of my favorite buildings in Washington DC. I love the architecture, the clean lines and obviously the interior space. But they also have some great cherry blossom trees in the spring time too. I’ve shot them before but this year, I wanted to spend a little more time here. Unfortunately the day I decided to go it was super cloudy, grey and windy. I definietly needed my tripod for this shoot.

I had this idea in my head that I wanted to do a whole series of images from this one spot. It’s still going to happen and I’m going through all the images but I thought this one was pretty cool. It reminds me of the two twin girl emoji, right? 👯 LOL Could you imagine if there was another one of me? LOL I think my mom would have ran away from us while we were in high school. I bet Andrew would love it though. HAHAHA

In order to capture this, I set my camera on my tripod and set the 10 second timer. I sprinted over to stand underneath the tree and as the shutter was going off, I just slightly moved my legs around as if I was just casually standing under the tree. Than I ran back to the camera to check out the image. It may have looked casual, but I was huffing and puffing in between takes. After about 3 tries, I was done and was happy with the way this one turned out.

Is it me or do I look super short in this image too? Oh well. It’s a pretty cool experiment in scale as well.

My settings for this image is F4 at 6 seconds and ISO 320 with my Sony A7II and 28-70mm lens on a tripod.

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And we’re in the home stretch. Today we’ll be arriving in San Diego which is our final destination for our great American road trip and we’ll be spending the rest of the weekend here. I’m not going to lie, this has been the time of my life but it has also been exhausting. Driving across country is something that I never thought I’d do but I’ve learned so much from it. Next time I do this, I want to drive through the northern part of the country like South Dakota, Montana, Wyoming. Theres so much more to the country that I haven’t seen. Seeing it from the road is a great way to appreciate it all. Hopefully Andrew and Frankie will be able to join. That would be sooo much fun.

This image was taken on top of the parking garage at Union Station. Pro tip- Union Station itself is amazing to photograph. Interior, exterior, beautiful views it has it all. Then after you’re all done, you can go down to the restaurants and get an adult beverage. But seriously, this an amazing spot for sunset with an unique view of the Capitol. There aren’t many places where you can go on a rooftop or shoot from a very tall point of view in Washington DC. Especially now since the Washington Monument is closed for who knows how long. So for a great birds eye view of things, Union Station is one of the best places to go to.

My settings for this image was F6.3 at 1/10th of a second at ISO 160. I did not have my tripod with me at this time but I should of. The wall of the parking garage is pretty tall. Taller than what I’m used to, so shooting for me was a little difficult. The whole time I was standing on my tipy-toes but like Tim Gunn says, ‘I made it work‘ 🙂

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Even though The National Museum of African American History and Culture is the newest museum in the National Mall and Washington DC area, it’s quickly becoming one of my favorites. I’ve only been inside once but I’ve admired it from the outside numerous times. It’s so exciting to have this new space because there are so many new angles to explore. Like this one made possible by the enormous and beautiful reflecting windows that surround the museum.

Now that summer time is on us, I also think it’d be interesting to see what people do with the fireworks in this space. I was lucky enough to have special access to shoot the Independence Day fireworks on the grounds last year but it was sort of a bust. All day it had been rainy with super low clouds so it was sort of difficult to see the fireworks. And it was crazy because the fireworks that were super high in the sky were only heard, not seen. So this year I think it’d be interesting to see if fireworks would be able to reflect off the windows or even some of the outdoor features surrounding the museum. Weather permitting of course.

The camera settings for this image was F7.1 at 1/30th of a second at ISO 400. I shot this at sunset while being smushed up against the windows. A high ISO was needed to be sure everything stayed sharp and in focus. It was only afterwards, in post processing, where I thought this image would look even cooler in black and white. I think it really brings out the the drama and makes the angles look even sharper.

Can’t wait to go inside the museum again to capture the ‘cleansing fountain’. The first time I was there, it wasn’t up and running.